Are you the one?

Every so often I read something in the papers that just makes my day, or month.  Its usually something very idiotic like the all too common reports of ‘secret meetings’ between politicians (if its secret, then how do you know about it?); or a nonsense puff piece about a woman/activist who claims to have 5 children, and not just the one, yet can’t be bothered to name them, and the journo cant be bothered to investigate (I’d bitch about this but I’m scared of Lucy); but this Saturday was special, and this time it was an ad than did it for me, a personal ad to be precise. 

Now I love reading the personals.  Scratch that, I’m addicted to the personals, the never ending search for love/lust is my one guilty pleasure in the papers.  Trust me, after you’ve had to write your own ad/profile, you learn to appreciate the work that goes into them, or doesn’t, and how to spot the earnest from the swindlers, to the downright crazy.  See what you don’t know, oh ye ‘I would never stoop so low’ self-righteous bastards, is that there’s a science to pimping yourself; you have play up your attributes without sounding pompous, play down your flaws without sounding insecure, be ambiguous enough to attract as many idiots as possible, but clear enough to steer away the plain unacceptable; it’s a fine balancing act, and as a connoisseur let me tell you that not too many get it right.  Creating a personal/profile is like trying to sell a tub of BlueBand, no matter how you dress it up, its still a tub of (unnatural?) fat.  It’s notoriously unhealthy, synthetic to the point of resembling molten rubber, so unessential that if you do without it for a week you forget what it tastes like, but someone out there is convinced it’s the shit, all they need is for you to tell them why, preferably with an ad extolling the added vitamin D (very healthy, no?).  

The biggest problem with pimping yourself is that its taken as a sign of failure when you do.  Why are you single?  Is there something wrong with you?  If you’re as great as you say you are, then why hasn’t someone snapped you up already?  Are you so desperate that you’ve taken to soliciting strangers?  Admit it, these are the questions running through your mind when you see these ads.  Thing is, the person who put up said ad probably thought the exact same thing, and still went ahead and did it.  There can be no shame in that game, is all I’m saying, unless the ad is crap then perhaps some shame may be warranted.  But today it’s not about the why, it’s about the how, how to write, and read, a good personal, and thanks to this lovely genius, we have a case study.  Incidentally, I’m assuming because it was in the papers then I’m allowed to do with it as I please, public domain and what not.  If not, I suspect someone will let me know. 

Did you happen to see this piece of brilliance?

from the Saturday magazine

Manna from heaven, no?  It’s like the gods of nonsense read my blank mind and sent me this little gem, pun wholly intended, to have my way with.

First things first, the man paid for an ad on page 16.  That’s right, this was not in the classifieds, he spent real money, an ad this size must have set him back a couple of thousands, especially with the colour and everything.  Bloody hell!  He must be a very serious man.  Or not, do you see the caption in the corner about coloured diamonds being rare and therefore historically significant?  He is a poet, he does not know it…  Moving on swiftly…  So this guy is allegedly a 6 ft tall Kikuyu man?  Say what now?  Now my tribe was blessed with many, many attributes, but height was not one of them.  Roho tu safi, we are generally a bunch of short ass bastards.  No really, you can count the number of Kuyo’s above 5’8” on one hand, and all of them have Maa blood in them, thus for the purposes of this discussion do not count.  Thing is, almost all men lie about their height in their personals, sometimes (allegedly) unknowingly.  I once met a guy online who claimed to be 5’7”, but when I met him in person he turned out to be a couple of inches shorter than me.  I’m 5’7”.  Stop laughing.  The bugger actually had the audacity to ask me why I lied about my height on my profile, seeing as I was so tall, and he was quite serious.  These men I keep meeting are not entirely sane, are they?  Back to the gem search… 

This man describes himself as…wait for it…God fearing.  See, no half decent ad is complete without that mandatory line, how else will they know that you’re not like a pagan, or a devil worshipper or something such like?  That line is the equivalent of going to Church to look for a spouse, it’s code for, ‘I’m not here to fuck around, I mean business!’  If you put that in your profile, be prepared to have discussions about Proverbs over coffee.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Then there’s the bit where he calls himself a ‘visionary with integrity’, but I don’t know what that means (sounds like hes a guy of sharas, or a pastor/reverend/bishop/apostle, no?  No?), but I’d be willing to overlook that because he says he ‘usually smells quite good’.

And then comes the really good bit where he describes what he’s looking for.  Now at this point of the personal, I sink a little lower into my chair, salivating.  ‘Why?’ you ask.  ‘Let me show you, innocent one,’ she chuckles.  Usually people will try and restrain themselves when talking about themselves, partly because it makes you feel self conscious to do so, but mostly because self awareness is sadly lacking (put differently, delusional tendencies are common amongst the lovelorn).  Ask them to describe what it is they want, however, and all the foolishness flows out, page upon page of unrealistic expectations…  Its bloody brilliant!  Its the chocolate sprinkles to the ice cream that is the personal.  And this bugger?  He’s good, really good!  He says he’s looking for ‘a queen’, ‘that she may sit beside me on my throne’.  Yawa!!!  My friend, this is a very serious man, mpaka he has a throne and everything?  Skip past the complexion (which chocolate?  Milk, dark, white, caramel) and age requirements (I’m too old, dammit!), past the decent family and polished qualities, past the ban on weaves (really?), past the college degree and mandatory HIV test…all that is fluff, standard operating procedure for a personal.  The next bit, where he customises the template, is what counts, ‘she should also either be a Sagittarius or Libra…’.  Eh?  Now I’ve seen a lot of shit, but this has to be the first time a man has specified a desired star sign.  Which one is sagiwhatever, December or April?  More importantly, what does it matter?  Even more importantly, why on earth is a grown ass man concerned about astrology?  And don’t even try and give me that saga about personalities and what not, that is just odd, this bugger will cook your rabbit if you joke

And last, and definitely not least, he felt the need to clarify that the following will not be tolerated:
  1. gold diggers (because he clearly has gold),
  2. non serious (because he is so very serious), and
  3. independent/modern woman (because he is looking for a homemaker, who appreciates family and old school values, and this coming from the never married father of two?).
Now do you see why I love the personals?  I couldn’t make this shit up if you paid me.   

I know I shouldn’t, but I am sorely tempted to write to this genius, the only thing stopping me is the thought of all the bad karma I’d generate with that stunt, because the last thing I need is bad karma, right?