by Beau Hebert
Dear The Beauster,
I’ve been divorced for three years now and am just starting to get back into the game. Nightclubs and bars are not my scene, so most recent dates have been with women I’ve met through personal ads in The Seattle Weekly. The gals I’m meeting, though, are very different than as advertised – and not in a good way. I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but more honesty in these personals would save me a lot of time, disappointment and expense. Do you have any advice on how to navigate the choppy seas of personal ads?
Tall, masculine, forty-something male who loves to cook and has a heart of gold.
Dear T, M-sculine 40-something M who loves to C and has an H of G,
Dating is rough and, statistically, the main reason people stay in lousy relationships. But please understand that if we presented ourselves in pure, bare-naked honesty, nobody would want to have anything to do with us or any other person and the human experience would have ended many millions of years ago. Worse yet, depictions of awkward, disappointing dating scenarios that serve as the fodder for romantic comedies would never have come into being and, well…Meg Ryan?
Don’t give up! Instead, get familiar with the exciting language of Personal-Ad-Sparanto! Though the words that comprise Personal-Ad-Sparanto are borrowed from the English language, it is, in fact, a foreign tongue unto itself, the language of personal ads and romance. Just like the other Romance languages (French, for example), Personal Ad-sparanto is NOT gender neutral.
*Translator’s note: An interesting characteristic of the Personal-Ad-Sparanto language is that feminine descriptors tend to de-emphasize the physical weight of the subject; conversely, masculine descriptors tend to de-emphasize the physical age of the subject.
Allow me to be your personal Personal-Ad-Sparanto translator! Let’s start with some feminine-specific translations:
I Love movies and walks on the beach = Where’s the remote?; I have many hobbies = I’m unemployed; Height-weigh proportional = Rubenesque; Full-figured = Morbidly Rubeunesque; I love to laugh = Gilbert Grape’s mom; Independent = Co-dependent; Passionate = Morbidly co-dependent; I love animals = I fetishize my cats and ascribe wacky human traits to them; Graceful = I own a lot of gauzy clothing; Spiritual = I own a lot of gauzy clothing while burning dank incense; Seeking a nurturing, mutually respectful partnership = Desperate…so desperate…so…gasping, inconsolable weeping; Free-thinking = I base my world view on astrology, both Western and the one with all the animals I see on placemats at Chinese restaurants.
Good work! Let’s move on to common masculine-specific translations:
Masculine = hairy; Very masculine = Very hairy with tight pubic curls on my back; Athletically built = I suck my gut in for photos; I love cooking = I love my mom’s cooking because I still live at home; forty-something = fifty-something; fifty-something = recovering from double hip-replacement surgery; Tall = Tallish in some Indonesian villages; Medium height = I’ve studied the nostril shape of many a garden gnome; Distinguished = bald; Mature = Oh wow, I just read your obituary but was sure you had died some ten years ago; Confident = painfully insecure; Aspiring = Perspiring; Heart of gold = Soul is dead.
Bravo! Now that you are versed in the exciting language of Personal-Ad-Sparanto, l think we’re ready to translate the description you provided of yourself:
Tall, masculine, forty-something male who loves to cook and has a heart of gold. Translation: In some Indonesian villages I might be considered tall. Of course, I’ve never been to those villages because I still live at home even though I’m fifty-four years old. I’m hairy. My soul is dead.
Hmmm…maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to reject a second date with the morbidly Ruben-esque, incense-burning cat fetishist who believes her Gemini-Rat status is simpatico with your Leo-Pig nature. Leos are cats, after all – she’ll totes ascribe whacky human traits to you! I see the makings of a Purr-riffic relationship.
Prescription from the back bar pharmacy at Jude’s Old Town: Slushies!!!!! Yes, Jude’s now has a slushie machine!
Overheard at the bar: “Pork chops are good. Slushies are good.”
Beau Hebert is the owner of Jude’s Old Town in Rainier Beach and Lottie’s Lounge in Columbia City.
Featured image by Alex Garland