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How not to write a personal

Friday, August 28, 2009

I appreciate honesty as much as the next girl, but somehow I have a feeling this isn't the way to go about finding a wife:


This reads:

Wanted - A wife; a woman who is ordinarily amiable, possessed of good common sense, good looking, a loving and confiding disposition, who can make life happy and agreeable to her husband, even though he may be depressed in spirits, and possessed of that vigor of mind that she can bring forth new and original charms to soothe her companion's heart. Any correspondence will be promptly and sincerely attended to. Address, enclosing carte de visite, if agreeable, Peroval, Tivoli, N.Y.


I don't mean to be unkind, but this advertiser expects quite a woman in exchange for a man he himself admits isn't going to be the most fun guy to hang out with. Any woman seeking a husband through the personals is having trouble finding one elsewhere, but I'm still not sure this would get any answers. After all, he's not offering much in exchange for her amiability, common sense, good looks, loving and confiding disposition, and vigor of mind. He gets all that, and she gets a man who is depressed and heartsick. He doesn't say how old he is and, this is going to sound very callous, but he doesn't even hold out the incentive of being a good supporter. I know that's harsh, but as I've said many times before, financial stability was paramount for a woman and a depressed husband in Tivoli, NY (about 100 miles north of New York City) who doesn't even bother to mention how much money he makes isn't really tempting.

Of course, like the Englishwoman from the other day, there certainly were women who were desperate enough to marry anyone. So maybe he did get answers. But on the other hand, is such a man going to want a wife who's only marrying him out of desperation? Despite his faults as an advertiser, he seems like a decent and genuine person who really wanted to be happily married. But, poor fellow, he probably wasn't thinking too clearly when he wrote this - or rather, he was so wrapped up in his misery that he didn't think too much about how this ad was going to sound.

I'm not sure that he could ever find a wife in this manner, but I hope he found happiness somehow!

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein

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