Nell on lonely hearts

Nell on lonely hearts

By Nell Frizzell 06/10/10

This week, Nell Frizzell – a 25-year-old F with a GSOH – reveals her passion for lonely hearts adverts. Whether you WLTM a city slicker, a Jewish intellectual or a body building fetishist, there's something for everyone...

Despite the predicted success of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – the recessionista sequel to Oliver Stone’s 1987 hit – it seems that Gordon Gekko is still having trouble getting laid.

I refer, of course, to a recent advert in The Guardian Guide’s Soulmates section: “City analyst, athletic build, blue eyes, passion for squash… WLTM slim lady 35-45, feminine, well-spoken, to share life with.” Sounds familiar? Well, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of sitting through 133 minutes of Shia LaBeouf’s latest potato-faced cinematic offering, let me explain.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps rejoins the seminal 80s braces-and-bum-chin city boy Gordon Gekko in 2001, as he is released from gaol after serving a seven-year sentence for insider dealing and financial pie-fingering. While the original Wall Street saw the all-powerful Gekko put ingénue Charlie Sheen through his paces – on and off the squash court – the modern money man has broken up with his wife, become estranged from his daughter and can count his friends on one clenched fist. He may be a city analyst with an athletic build, blue eyes and passion for squash, but Gordon Gekko ain’t nothing but a lonely heart.

As you may have guessed, I love lonely hearts ads. Adore them. Despite having been in a relationship for the last four years, I still read them with all the avidity of 47-year-old divorcee living in Doncaster. I’ll scour The Big Issue, Private Eye, The Guardian, The Yorkshire Evening Post, and if I’m left alone on a train with someone else’s copy, even The Daily Star (which once printed the truly arresting, “I’m a good girl. Piss in my mouth.”).

What draws me to these abbreviated masterpieces? Well, before Facebook or Twitter, the very idea that people would willingly and publicly admit to their deepest loneliness, alongside a snappy 250-character description of their physical appearance, filled me with wonder. Before reality TV, lonely hearts were my only portal into other people’s lives. Before social networking, lonely hearts ads were simply porn for the curious. And although, as with porn, internet dating has pretty much usurped its printed equivalent – according to The New York Times, online dating is expected to increase by at least 30% in the next two years – there is something rather irreplaceable about reading an anonymous cry for love over your morning toast and tea.

Take this example, found in last week’s paper: “Jewish M, interesting and passionate, 70s, slim, fit and active seeks good, understanding F for culture, current affairs, conversation, cuisine, mutual comfort and laughter.” Yes, you’re right; that is every single Woody Allen performance ever captured on film. Or how about the iron-pumpingly bizarre: “Unfeasibly muscular woman sought by unfeasibly picky chap, 46, for unfeasibly good times.” Or the post-apocalyptically strange “Pussycat seeks owl. Peagreen boat negotiable. F, 36, own Anderson shelter, hunting for M 30-50 for overdone dinners and flaming rows.”

Lonely hearts adverts are the last refuge of the sociopath, the lovelorn, the fetishist and the scoundrel. Making each and every one of them a person I WLTM.


 More Nell:

...on twee

...on suburbia


Image courtesy of Narcsville.

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