The Nondating Life

Friday, May 06, 2005

The more things change...

[A Nondating Life interlude ... cross-posted at As I Please]

George Orwell, writing about something called The Matrimonial Post and Fashionable Marriage Advertiser (now that's some ballsy personals) in 1944:

The thing that is and always has been striking in these advertisements is that nearly all the applicants are remarkably eligible. It is not only that most of them are broad-minded, intelligent, home-loving, musical, loyal, sincere and affectionate, with a keen sense of humour and, in the case of women, a good figure; in the majority of cases they are financially O.K. as well. When you consider how fatally easy it is to get married, you would not imagine that a 36-year-old bachelor, "dark hair, fair complexion, slim build, height 6 ft., well educated and of considerate, jolly and intelligent disposition, income 1,000 pounds per annum and capital,*" would need to find himself a bride through the columns of a newspaper. And ditto with "Adventurous young woman**, Left-wing opinions, modern outlook" with "fairly full but shapely figure, medium colour curly hair, grey-blue eyes, fair skin, natural colouring, health exceptionally good, interested in music, art, literature, cinema, theatre, fond of walking, cycling, tennis skating and rowing." Why does such a paragon have to advertise?

It should be noted that the Matrimonial Post is entirely above-board and checks up carefully on its advertisers.***

What these things really demonstrate is the atrocious loneliness of people living in big towns. People meet for work and then scatter to widely separated homes. Anywhere in inner London it is probably exceptional to know even the names of the people who live next door****.

*Maybe I should use this for my online profile if I start up with Nerve again.
**I think I've read her profile on Nerve.
***Obviously, Nerve and do no such thing. And Craig's List? Shyeah, right.
****Rachel and Nikki.


  • i have a real love-hate relationship with online dating. i've rarely met someone worth a second date. but it's a fun way to kill boredom and i've also had a relationship from it(actually, through nerve). any successes for you, ken?

    By Blogger Bex, at 10:02 PM  

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