Personal ad paves way to friendship

November 05, 1993|By D. G. Fulford | D. G. Fulford,Los Angeles Daily News

Maybe you remember Jennifer Layne.

She's the 27-year-old woman from Los Angeles -- the very nice, very bright, very nothing-wrong-with and ungeeklike woman -- who placed a classified ad in the Daily News' "Meeting Place" looking for female friends.

That's right. Friends.

Just friends.

No funny stuff.

Just friends.

"Women my age have hit a point where we just don't seem to meet women friends," she said in March when her classified ad first ran.

bTC "I'm not looking for a best friend. I have a best friend. And I have a boyfriend. He moved, however, and I have a lot of time on my hands," Ms. Layne said.

"I'm a talker. I like to be with people. I like going out. I just don't like going out alone."

So she placed this ad and waited to see what would happen.

"Straight SWF, 27, tired of going out alone seeks female friends for movies, theater going, etc."

The ad ran a couple of weeks, and Ms. Layne got about 10 or 12 messages from potential friends.

"I called everybody back," she said.

"Most just stated their name, their age and their part of the Valley. No one was trying impress me or act like they were anything special."

Attrition went to work in a phone tag kind of way.

She would return so-and-so's call, so-and-so would return her call, they could never coordinate a time to get together, on and on and on.

"I tell you, it was a real mixed bag," Ms. Layne said. "Some women were perfectly pleasant, but the phone call got awkward. I didn't want to go out to dinner with someone and have there be uncomfortable pauses."

Then Cami Hershkovitz called.

"We hit it off right away. She sounded vivacious and fun. We had tons of things in common," Ms. Layne said.

"It was like we were already friends."

Ms. Hershkovitz, 28, was in a temporarily lonely situation. Her husband had moved to San Francisco. She was going to join him eventually.

But in the meantime, it was hard for her to meet people her age.

"I got this crazy notion to answer this ad," Ms. Hershkovitz said.

She was a little bit leery.

"Not so much of Jennifer," Ms. Hershkovitz said. "But, I thought to myself, 'What kind of people place ads for friends?'

"I mean, it's different meeting a person and having a friendship naturally grow. But placing an ad? That's almost like asking someone to like you."

Ms. Hershkovitz and Ms. Layne did like each other, though.

"We met for dinner and were able to joke around," Ms. Layne said. "After dinner was over, we sort of asked each other if we wanted to do it again."

Which they did. No strings. No strain. No pressure.

"Neither of us expected too much from the other. There would be no hurt feelings if one of us was too busy to make plans. Still, we made time to go to the movies or dinner. We would just pal around and do girl stuff."

Then Ms. Hershkovitz moved.

"But I have a lot of long-distance friends," Ms. Hershkovitz said. "One way or another, I know we'll stay in touch."

And she's placing her own ad in San Francisco.

"I said the same kind of thing Jennifer said in her ad. I said I wanted to meet women my age to shop and go to the movies with. Someone to do things with on the weekends.

"My husband's here, but I still need friends."

And, sometimes, that's what the classifieds are for.

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