May 29, 2009 9:03 AM   Subscribe

"Do you love me? Will you answer this all absorbing question the next time we meet? Will you utter that winsome "Yes" fraught with all the golden dreams of heavenly realms, or will you pronounce the dread "No" and consign my soul to darkness and despair?" Advertising for Love, a collection of funny, strange, poignant and bizarre personal ads from nineteenth-century American newspapers.
posted by verstegan (10 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
This "missed connections" entry is really something else.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:15 AM on May 29, 2009

Does South Carolina know about this?
posted by tommasz at 9:23 AM on May 29, 2009

Pls send portrait; I will return the favor with a charcoal drawing of my penis.
posted by not_on_display at 9:46 AM on May 29, 2009 [8 favorites]

You: Handsome young lady with child-bearing hips from respectable Protestant family. Not opposed to the occasional flash of ankle, and can partake in a rousing match of pitch-penny as well as she can cook, clean and sew. Me: Dashing young rake with a generous handlebar moustache and a proud stovepipe hat. Meet me at Five Corners at half-seven, and we shall go to a dogfight, or perhaps merely take a romantic stroll by the wharf and throw rocks at Irish. Nativists only please.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:02 AM on May 29, 2009 [14 favorites]

They are so hard to read, but the ones I can read are full of win.
posted by Malice at 10:23 AM on May 29, 2009

posted by chihiro at 4:44 PM on May 29, 2009

I've often wondered if I could submit a personal ad with only the words: "On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? Mailbox 3405".

I'd be kind of worried about the responses, however.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:07 PM on May 29, 2009

thanotopsis: "I've often wondered if I could submit a personal ad with only the words: "On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? Mailbox 3405"."

As long as you answer any responses with, "I bet you to say that to all the boys."
posted by not_on_display at 5:16 PM on May 29, 2009

Love it. It reminds me of the deservedly forgotten saga of "Anna Matilda" and "Della Crusca," or Hannah Cowley and Robert Merry, two late-18th century poets of the ripest, fruitest Romantic school. They carried on a literary love affair under these pen names in British journals, writing to each other in poetry of a truly Vogon scope.

O! I can wander yet, and taste
The beauties of the flow'ry waste;
The Nightingale's deep swell can feel,
Whilst from my lids the soft drops steal;
Rapt! gaze upon the gem-deck'd night,
And mark the clear moon's silent flight;
Whilst the slow river's crumpl'd wave
Repeats the quiv'ring beams she gave.

It all ended, of course, after the two of them met.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:16 PM on May 29, 2009

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.

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).

From the personals in the London Review of Books [via giantflightlessbirds.com, fourth item down]. Apparently there's a whole book of these: They Call Me Naughty Lola - The London Review of Books Personal Ads: a Reader
posted by jzed at 4:07 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

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