More Americans are getting what they want through the mail or the Internet these days. Some have even resorted to courtin' by catalog or computer. "Personal" ads used to be limited to singles magazines and bathroom walls but recently cattle and livestock publications and their web sites have begun running these ads from city slickers who are tired of the singles bar scene. They think what they are looking for just might turn up in the country. Clearly many of these writers are under the wrong impression.
"Divorced mother with fourteen children who likes horses, cowboys and pick up trucks is looking for an intelligent and attractive cowboy with an income in the six figures. If you are such a man please write as I would love your company... especially if it is a Forbe's 500 Company. Signed, Desperate in Detroit."
But it is not only our city cousins who have the wrong impression. Seeing these personal ads right next to advertisements for border collie pups and auctioneer's school has given some ranch women the idea that they too might order up a new and improved husband just like they would order a new vaccine or a belt buckle from Amazon.
"Are you ready to be swept off your feet by an attractive, energetic, sensual and statuesque women, 59 years of age that is looking for a single, male exotic dancer, aged 21-25. If you are athletic I'm ready to play ball. Signed, Bored in Billings."
The problem of course with these ads is that Bored in Billings may be 5' 3", weighs in at 250 pounds, is uglier than a Mexican sheep and has a face that belongs in a hackamore. She may also have enough kids to start her own school.
To disguise such facts the writers of these personal ads use a universal code. For example, SWM means single, white male. DWF means divorced, white female. BiWM means you better request a negative blood test and a photo before starting up a relationship.
A typical example of a coded personal letter might be: "DWF that has CRLs and SLACB seeks SWM that is a NS/ND with mucho $$$$$."
That seems innocent enough and a lonely rancher in Pierre might even respond to such an advertisement. But when the code is broken it means that a divorced white female with charging rhino legs (CRL's) and snores like a choked bull (SLACB) is looking to nab a single white male (SWM) that doesn't smoke (NS) or drink (ND) and would like to give you half his money ($$$$$).
In some cases it is easier to determine what these personal ad writers are looking for:
"Long haired computer nerd, DWM, looking for a hard rocking, vegetarian, cosmically in tune cow girl that is concerned with inner self and enjoys rap music and therapeutic massage. I am entering a new phase of my life and would like to make contact with a SWF. She must bathe twice daily, have a gorgeous body, does not chew and loves to travel. I am ready to put my trust in her if she will just put her daddy's ranch in trust for me."
I feel sad for some of these people who have to resort to personal ads just to find a mate. Far too many of them are looking for someone that simply does not exist. For example: "I am a swinging, 69 year old cowboy whose only assets are a couple front teeth so big I can eat popcorn out of a jug and a nose so large I could hide a small dog in it. I would like to meet a single, young, blond haired, rich, well educated female, 36-24-36 who is willing to feed cows and knows how to make good coffee and cobbler."
I think it was a lot easier when you just went away to college or to a bar to find your spouse.