“Potential partners seek to strike bargains which maximize their rewards in the exchange of assets.” Positive descriptors about appearance abound. Women are attractive, very attractive, or extremely attractive.Women stress those physical attributes, while men speak of status, occupation, or financial security.In each biweekly paper, Appleberg wrote a column called “When was the last time,” which asked readers to think back to when they last picked apples, or didn’t wear a watch, or visited a lighthouse.The paper never made quite enough money, despite Appleberg’s best efforts.Many of the seekers were divorced, and looking for an alternative to the carousel of what the authors of “Courtship American Style” call “the tedious and meaningless …round of bars and singles’ clubs.” One ad says the writer is looking for “a little fun and excitement and a lot of deep down feeling but not wedding bliss (I’ve gone that route).” “The ads in this paper read a little like the ask-bid columns of the New York Stock Exchange,” wrote those authors, Catherine Cameron, Stuart Oskamp, and William Sparks.“It seems like the dark ages compared to how people meet now,” she says. The pill really changed things.” At every party, she says, at least one joint was floating around.
Instead, the paper offered dating advice that is a relic of a time before the internet, when people were advised, to maximize the potential for romance on a Staten Island ferry ride, to “Check a daily paper to find out what time the sun will set on the day you want to go—that’s the most exquisite time for boating with a date.” Another article proposes “[getting] yourself a small fondue set, if you don’t already have one,” leaning heavily into the spirit of the decade.
(Correspondingly, the men seem to have fudged a little—many listed their height as at least one inch above the average.).
The paper, Appleberg says, was fashioned after an English singles magazine.
A bad boyfriend, who gave her a Dandie Dinmont terrier as a Christmas present, is immortalized in print.
“If your lover wants to buy you a pet, opt for a bathrobe instead—it will hardly become a bone of contention if and when your relationship winds down and out.” The man didn’t stick, but the dog, Elizabeth, did.