Snob appeal: Looking for love in all the very right places

For the Record

March 21, 2004|By HARTFORD COURANT

If you're going to place a personal ad in Harvard Magazine, you'd better be into something besides movies and long walks on the beach. And don't say you're a construction worker or try out new euphemisms for fat.

If the personals in the alumni magazine's March-April issue are any indication, lonely singles with Ivy League credentials are looking for more in a mate - much more.

Consider the likely expectations of this woman, looking for a man to "spend some extended time in Southern France." Of herself, she writes: "Appreciates a Margaux or a smooth, easy- going Chianti. Enjoys Bellini's Norma, Maillol, Provence, Italian villages, skiing, sailing. Known for a stellar coq au vin."

And, by the way, she's "adorably attractive," with "gorgeous chestnut hair" and a "petite trim figure." If you can't picture her, it will just have to do. Others help you along by comparing themselves to movie stars. This issue has look-alikes for Charlton Heston, Russell Crowe, Jacqueline Bisset, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts and Blythe Danner.

What? No Andre the Giant?

There don't seem to be many bartenders or ironworkers trying their luck in these personals. But there's an "Ivy-educated lawyer turned business owner"; a "Renaissance Man, 55" who "left Harvard to conquer the business world, which he's done, triumphantly"; a retired Harvard Ph.D. in German; a man "living on the coast of Maine, now writing potboiler novels"; and a "N.Y. real estate novelist," whatever that is.

In Harvard Magazine, you don't just get people who read novels, you get people who write them. You don't get mere movie fans, you get a "published film scholar."

Then there's the "alluringly attractive, slender, savvy photographer - completing book." She wants you to know she doesn't put on airs: "Equally comfortable at Ritz or favorite neighborhood Italian dive, opera or Red Sox games, Arizona Biltmore or Italian pensione ..." Yep, we can all relate to those choices.

Some advertisers, realizing you can tell a lot about people by their magazine subscriptions, mention that they read The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Economist, Easyriders. (Just kidding about that last one.)

Also advertising among the Harvard Magazine personals are two matchmaking Web sites that don't accept just anybody. They assess your suitability by the college you graduated from (they don't take your word for it).

Rightstuffdating.com's list of acceptable schools includes the Ivies and about 30 more, including Wesleyan, Duke, Stanford, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown.

Goodgenes.com, though its name suggests an emphasis on good breeding, is actually less selective, accepting graduates of many colleges deemed unworthy by Rightstuffdating. com.

The University of Virginia makes Goodgenes.com's list, as do Boston College, Villanova, Notre Dame, South Florida and other schools you don't have to be a legacy to attend.

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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