Looking for Love in the 90’s – Life Lesson #458

“SWF seeks SWM for LTR – must love alternative music”

women seeking men personal ads in a newspaper dating section in the ukBack in 1993, I used to check out the personal ads in the back of the Cleveland Free Times and decided one day to give it a try. After all, what did I have to lose?

Unfortunately, in those days I didn’t have the confidence, attitude and passion for life that I now possess – also, I was not upfront in my ad concerning my physical appearance.

In my head I thought, “what good looking guy would want to respond to an ad for a fat girl looking for love?”

I must have done something right with my ad because it didn’t take long to receive my first reply.

Back in the early 90’s, the reply was through snail mail – there was no high speed internet and instant gratification. I was so excited to read my first letter from a doting potential suitor; I opened my letter with fervor and swooned over the words carefully written on the paper.

He had quoted lyrics from The Cure within the first paragraph – I was hooked – it didn’t take much for me back in those days.

I immediately wrote him back, quoting a few lines of The Cure and Depeche Mode back; I was very careful to not reveal to him my true physical form yet. I hoped he would fall for my mind first so that way he wouldn’t care that I was hideously fat – which I wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination. I can thank Mom-ster back then for that warped body image I held in my mind.

Sure I was a big girl, but if I were as big now as I was then, I’d be right where I want to be physically today… but I digress.

For a few weeks the letters went back and forth; sincere words entwined with song lyrics from The Cure, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie, The Smiths, The Cranberries and Mazzy Star; I was in heaven – this guy really “got me”. He mentioned possibly meeting at one of the dance clubs in Cleveland sometime.

Naturally I got scared.

I decided to finally be honest with him and told him I was fat. He deserved to know how horrible a person I was for keeping this from him.

I wasn’t eloquent and pretty about it – I was blunt and to the point. I described myself using the same descriptive language that Mom-ster had used for years with me.

I never heard from him again…

About a year ago, I met this guy Perry at a coffeehouse while I was editing some photos on my MacBook. We started talking about photography, the dwindling Goth scene for people of our age and how Depeche Mode’s music spoke about love, life and religion.

Eventually, as our friendship grew, we started sharing anecdotes of the horrors of online dating; it was during this conversation that I shared my personal ad story with him.

Perry looked at me with a tilted head, reminiscent of a curious dog and then he started laughing; I felt embarrassed by my story I had just shared. He smiled and stopped laughing long enough to tell me that he was the guy I was writing back and forth with all those years ago.

Astonished, I now looked at him puzzled. “So you stopped writing me because I said I was fat?”

He smiled, “No. You were harsh with the way you described yourself. I stopped writing you because if you didn’t have confidence in yourself as a woman, I couldn’t even start to entertain being with or even being friends with someone like that. I was sad, but I knew I couldn’t fix you. I’m glad to see you fixed yourself though!”


That was a hard blow to take at first. Then after a few moments, it sunk in. I completely understood what he meant.

By speaking that harshly about myself, all I did was show to the world how negative and sad I really was on the inside. If I couldn’t fully love myself completely, with all my flaws and imperfections, how could I ever expect anyone else to?

     Confidence, self-respect, and love have to blossom and bloom inside of you –
    no one can give you that gift.

Fat doesn’t make you a bad person nor does it make you unworthy of love, as Mom-ster had raised me to think. I let being fat prevent me from welcoming love into my life because I thought and spoke poorly of myself.

If I were to meet myself from back then today, I wouldn’t want to be friends or even associate with me.

Somewhere along the line I’m thankful I finally learned to love myself for who I am with all of my wonderful imperfections. I take joy in the fact that I freely embrace the love that is in me and all around me every single day.

Today, that same ad would tell the men reading it that I am a creative, sexy, confident and strong independent curvalicious woman with a passion for love, life and travel.

No other description is necessary.