Now David Rose the magazine's advertising director (below) has compiled some of the funniest of what the publisher's blurb calls "surreal haikus of the heart," in They Call me Naughty Lola noting that:
... while hopes of finding a suitable mate remain low, the column has produced a handful of marriages, many friendships, and at least one divorce.
James Button picks out some of his favourite LRB ads in the Age. (And there's another very enjoyable review of the book by Jonathan Player in the New York Times.) Don't you just love this ad which almost amounts to a short story?:
You'll write. I'll probably enjoy your letter and write back. After corresponding a few times, several phone calls, we'll arrange to meet. We'll meet again and become more intimate, eventually dating regularly.Button says:
We'll form a relationship, start leaving things at each other's apartments. We'll spend weekends together. Sometimes whole weeks. We'll have lazy Sundays lying naked in bed together, reading the supplements and not leaving the house.
Sometimes we'll disagree. The disagreements will become rows. We'll see each other less in the week. You'll come round one evening to 'collect some things' - we both know what it means. You'll go back to your place and cry like you used to do on cold wintry evenings. I'll drink more … We'll regret six lost months - possibly a year - wasted on yet another emotional cul de sac.
Let's save us both the pain - just send me a Christmas card and a nice gift (cash preferred, donations of £20 and above) and we'll call the whole thing quits now. (M, 43).
How very English they sound. Clever, diffident, seemingly modest, given to gloom, and probably not as good at making love as at making laughter. As one personal advertiser in the Review put it: "Romance is dead. So is my mother. Man, 42, inherited wealth." ... I say seemingly modest, because the English are as interested in self-promotion as anyone else. But as the anthropologist Kate Fox shows in her book Watching the English, one must boast modestly - to the point of putting oneself down. It is for others to graciously contradict. ... Self-deprecation is an iron law of the national character.If you'd like another helping of the LRB personals, why not check out those in the current issue?
And if anyone wants to post their own personals, I offer you space in the comments section!
(Pic from the New York Times)