Great expectations revised: in search of Mr. Half-Right

ALICE STEINBACH

February 07, 1993|By ALICE STEINBACH

I am so tired that I barely have the energy to write this. For the last three nights, I've been up, sleepless and worried, trying desperately to meet my deadline.

Not, by the way, my deadline for this column but the one for the singles ads I've just placed in several newspapers and magazines. They should be running soon -- I timed them to appear around Valentine's Day -- and, to tell you the truth, I'm beginning to feel as nervous as Jamie Lee Curtis in "Halloween."

I mean, what if a maniac answers my ISO (in search of) ad? Some totally-out-of-it DOSCAMIAHM (Divorced or single crazy athletic male in a hockey mask).

Or worse yet: What if I mix up the initials? Suppose, for instance, instead of marketing myself as an EBTDFWASAP (extremely beautiful, talented, divorced female with a slight attitude problem), I slip and mix up one letter for another. Say, an M (male) for an F (female). The potential for disaster, needless to say, is very great.

And worst of all: What if those who respond to my ad decide to lie about themselves?

How am I to know, for example, if the DWM ISO S/DWF (figure it out for yourself) really is a handsome physician/former physicist who is wealthy, caring, warm and a genuinely nice guy who likes cats? Maybe he's just saying he likes cats. Maybe he really hates cats and just wants to meet me so he can be mean to my cats.

You can see why I'm nervous. It's risky -- not only for me but for my cats -- this partner-through-personals business. But what the heck! With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I decided to take a chance. After all, even couples who meet in more conventional ways are taking a chance.

How compatible, I ask you, did the Prince and Princess of Wales turn out to be? Or Mia and Woody? Or Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco?

Finding Mr. Right is difficult no matter who you are.

I decided that it just might be possible to locate Mr. Half-Right (I no longer seek perfection) through the personals columns if I did two things: (1.) targeted my audience and (2.) described myself in brutally honest terms.

Here's a sampling of some magazines and the specific ads I wrote for each one.

GQ: Tall, extremely gorgeous, slim, quite intelligent, confident, successful, naturally blond female (TEGSQICSNBF) seeks same in man. Hobbies: modeling, shopping in Paris, talking about clothes. I dress to maim and expect the same in my guy. Must like Ralph Lauren and cats. Send photo or modeling portfolio.

Psychology Today: Divorced female sibling rivalry survivor (DFSRS) seeking a non-Freudian companion who is open to personal growth and taking the road less traveled. Must agree to take Rorschach test. If Dr. Joyce Brothers turns you on, I'm your gal. Won't automatically rule out Jungians, but Robert Blyians need not reply. Must like cats.

Sports Illustrated: Bold, adventuresome, spontaneous, strong, spirited dame (BASSSD) who enjoys spelunking, bungee-jumping, ice climbing, hiking in Patagonia, sky diving is looking for man to be wind beneath her wings, who also likes cats. I drive a stick shift and know how to box. Respond if you dare!

New York Review of Books: Well-read, intellectual, multi-talented divorced female linguist who speaks eight languages (WRIMTDFLWSEL) is in search of like-minded Proust lover. Purpose: to discuss the pros and cons of retitling "Remembrance of Things Past" to "In Search of Lost Time." The soul mate I'm looking for must enjoy speaking tribal languages, auteur cinema and like cats. Anthony Trollope admirers welcome. Mime-lovers need not respond.

Martha Stewart Living: Elegant, refined, divorced female gourmet cook who looks good in tweed and hand-knit sweaters (ERDFGCWLGITAHNS) seeks wealthy, distinguished, square-jawed, Dick Tracy look-alike from expensive Connecticut suburb. Must look good in jodhpurs, enjoy roaring fires, overdecorated houses, cats, soft snowfalls, country inns and the smell of potpourri.

Well, my funny valentine, that's it. I'm awaiting your replies.

Oh, by the way, all descriptions are approximate and there are two things that will get you to the top of the list: (1.) if you really like strong coffee and (2.) if you think that Sen. Alan Simpson is a jerk.

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