And Now For Something Completely Personal

Wanted: You to get that gun out of my face so we can go to dinner and a movie.
I’m well aware that I have an obsessive personality. It’s normally not a big problem, except when I’m packing lunches. 

Most of my obsessions are harmless. Like my thing with wanted posters and before-and-after weight loss pictures, my obsession with personal ads isn’t going to kill anyone.  It’s not even serious enough for me to get a therapy session that’s covered on my insurance.

And so I indulge. Regularly.

The best personal ads are in the specialty magazines.  I love to flip through magazines that are about subjects I have no personal interest in, just to see what the freaks are doing out there. Well, I’ll tell you what they’re doing. They’re dating. And not only that, they’re looking for friends and pen pals, too!

In a pagan magazine, a personal ad boasted, “I’ve been a pagan for about nine years and I would describe myself as a discordian, Daoist, Buddhist chaos mystic with Gnostic leanings.” Hey party animal, ever heard of specializing?

Those pagan grumpy gusses pop up in the funniest places. In a stay-at-home parents’ personal ad, a woman wrote that she had just moved and was looking for a playgroup for her and her kids. “My interests are Rpg’s (I have no idea what those are), SCA (another case of ‘if you have to ask’ . . . ), Renaissance faires, ghosts, hauntings, horror movies, pagan stuff, Celtic, and Norse heritage. I would love to make a friend or two.”
Friend? Or sacrificial coven buddy? I get the feeling there won’t be any American Girl Dolls at that playgroup. Or if there are, they’ll be wearing black eyeliner and little Alice in Chains tee-shirts.

In Backwoods Home magazine, amidst the ads for big honkin’ guns wrapped in red ribbons for Christmas, are personals for people looking for like-minded folk. But instead of listing weight and hair color, they reveal other things about themselves, like “debt free,”  “40-year-old with acreage” and “works well with animals.” Like all other personals, though, all the guys want a girl who’s “slender.”

Backwoods Home magazine is a fascinating catalog of human nature. Articles with names like “You Can Become a Hardcore Forager,”  “How to Butcher a Chicken in 20 Minutes or Less” and “The Saga of Benjamin, the Backwoods, Homeschool Boy Who Wanted to Get a Job.” (I kid you not.)  Also in this issue:  “Armed and Female” and “America, Land of the Free Ha, Ha, Ha!”

Lots of pro-gun, pro-military stuff but some of the funniest humor on its joke page that I’ve ever read. And I mean, I was laughing with it, not at it. I laughed out loud so hard that the guy sitting next to me at Joseph Beth Bookstore glanced over at me, saw that the magazine I was reading had a picture of a bloody dead deer on the cover and may have called 911.  (I have a shaky if not dangerous reputation in the reading corners of Joseph Beth.)

One of the Backwoods Home columnists is listed as specializing in “Politics, Current Events and Poker.” Clearly, these people want to be fun. If they’d only put down their guns for a few, they might lighten up enough to get a date.  

It’s been so long since I’ve been on the dating scene (long enough that I’m still calling it the ‘dating scene’) I’m not sure if I wouldn’t place a personal ad in one of these mags if I were single. 

You never know. I might find a like-minded Daoist with acreage.  I’m slender enough.