My Victorian styled personal ad has now been up for a week. Given the feedback I received from my readers, and in the hopes of luring not only a gentleman who is gallant, but one that has a sense of humour too, I went with the following posting:
Genteel Spinster with bad knees, an increasingly unreliable memory, and yet who still valiantly hangs on to her sunny, amiable disposition (and her illusions), AND who has reached the elevated age of two and forty with nary one matrimonial offer, seeks an acquaintance with a gentleman, with a view to matrimony. Any gentleman will do. All responses will be considered and GREATLY appreciated.
I also added the following details based on readers’ feedback:
WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE? Only the most lady-like of activities, to be sure!
I AM REALLY GOOD AT: Dancing and fanning myself at social gatherings.
THE FIRST THINGS PEOPLE USUALLY NOTICE ABOUT ME: My red hair….and shapely ankles.
FAVOURITE BOOKS, MOVIES, SHOWS, MUSIC, FOOD: I’ve been told I should mention that I LOVE bacon, and anything by Miss Jane Austen.
THE SIX THINGS I COULD NEVER DO WITHOUT: A good cup of tea, my knitting needles, a favourite book, friends, family, and bacon.
YOU SHOULD MESSAGE IF: You are a good-hearted, gallant gentleman, with an adventurous spirit.
Within the first ten minutes of posting my ad, I had a visit from a guy from Salt Lake City, Utah (A Mormon, I suspect, that found me using the keyword search “matrimony”), and from a guy, with a long grey beard, standing on his head. I was also messaged by a fella from Florida who “liked my picture”. It’s a portrait of Jane Austen, but I think he actually thought it was a picture of me.
Unfortunately, as I suspected, OkCupid, the website where I posted my Victorian styled personal ad, has already eliminated my “photo” as it was not a true representation of me. True, but I’ll be damned if I am going to attach a real photo of me to this particular ad! So, we shall have to see whether the added element of mystery of “no photo added” is a help or a hindrance. So, far I have been surprised by the number of hits my ad continues to generate. In addition to those already mentioned, I seem to be very popular with people from the State of Washington, which I can’t explain at all, and with women, which makes much more sense to me. Likely, the women are doing a keyword search for “Mr. Darcy“. Oh,this legacy of so many unrequited Mr. Darcy love yearnings! Surely, it would make Miss Jane Austen, herself, feel faint if she were alive today!
For those of you who have had the good fortune to avoid the use of dating websites, you might not realize that there are literally hundreds of these kinds of sites on the internet to choose from. I wanted to find just the right home for my Victorian-styled personal ad, and so I researched a variety of options. After realizing that the Gothic dating sites were not in fact for lovers of Gothic fiction, as I had hoped, but for modern-day Goth subculture lovers, I looked at other options that might be a better fit. Thinking about my love of bacon and how nice it would be to live in a sprawling Victorian country estate, I next perused the country dating sites, and found http://www.countryconnections.org/. But, this didn’t seem quite right either. Then I recalled that in Jane Austen’s books the women always aspired to wed a wealthy, well-bred gentleman, so I looked for dating sites featuring wealthy men and found this site – http://wealthymen.com/. In the end though, Jane Austen’s characters always married for love not money, so I continued my search, and found a staggering number of prison dating sites, which, out of curiosity, I contemplated briefly. Finally, I started unearthing some dating sites that had real potential – dating websites for book lovers! The best one I found (that was free) is called http://alikewise.com/, where people list their favourite books and connect with others based on book preferences. So, I posted on alikewise.com, however, it turns out there aren’t very many Torontonians on that site.
In the end, after taking a rather circuitous route, researching all my online dating site options, I chose to post on the website I am already using – my ol’ standby – OkCupid.com. OkCupid is one of the biggest free dating websites on the net, but what clinched my decision was the discovery of their “Jane Austen Heroine Test”! I can report, with an appropriate amount of humility and just a hint of rosy pride in my cheeks, that I am most like Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine from Pride and Prejudice.
And so, let’s hope that my rather bold/potentially creepy-weird move of posting a Victorian styled personal ad on a modern-day dating website will help my own Mr. Darcy find me among the 3.5 million registered users on OkCupid, and that he too will feel compelled to say to me:
- A Dance With Jane Austen by Susannah Fullerton – A Review (xingu2.wordpress.com)
- Searching for Captain Wentworth, by Jane Odiwe – A Review (austenprose.com)
- Two captivating true life characters among Jane Austen’s relatives are Elizabeth Wentworth and Chandos Leigh (janelark.wordpress.com)
- A Jane Austen Weekend! ~ Guest Post by Tess Quinn (janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com)