Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The strangest ad I ever saw

While continuing my ongoing deep purging of odd nooks and crannies around the house, I came across something I'm very glad I kept: an advertisement.

Let me first give you the backstory. Back in 1981, as a college student, once in awhile I would pick up an issue of Mother Earth News. This was still when the periodical was in its hippy-dippy days, and amongst all the information on how to create tie-die sheets and other fashion challenges, it had a great Personals section in the back. My friends and I would read these Personal ads out loud to each other, highlighting the crunchy-organic requirements ("soul-sister" "vegetarian" "acupressure") along with the serious ("family-oriented" "lonely" "must love children").

So one day I picked up the May/June 1981 issue of Mother Earth News...

...and proceeded to read the ads out loud to my roommates. Suddenly I came across a Personal ad that was so startling, so jaw-dropping, so freaky-weird, that we couldn't believe it was real. I ended up tearing out the page and tacking it to our apartment bulletin board.

All now, these years later, I found the torn-out sheet. The ad still qualifies as the freakiest, weirdest ad I ever saw:
"Want young lady as a personal associate and companion to a financially secure married woman on a Pacific island mountainside estate whose lifestyle is reclusive, private, sheltered, and who enjoys nature, gardening, cooking, and wifely duties. Most of the amenities, social graces, and high-class living available and expected. So there will be no misunderstandings, look to the dictionary for the definitions of associate and companion. Girl must be educated, mousey, quiet, shy, reclusive, preferably Caucasian; young, healthy and of small frame, about 115 lbs. No drugs or religious freaks. Send full-length pictures in various attire along with very complete statistics of self. Personal interview, complete medical checkup, and trial period will be required. Compensation for this job will be minimal wage, room and board."
What the ...?

Mousey? Small frame? Full-length photos in various attire? What...?

My roommates jokingly urged me to apply (I fit most of the requirements), and the budding writer in me spent a long time pondering what on earth the true purpose an advertisement like this could be. My speculation was they were looking for a surrogate womb, a sort of The Handmaid's Tale (an ugly, freaky read if there ever was one).

All these years later, I have no better explanation. There is no possible way to follow up, of course.

And this, dear readers, qualifies as the strangest ad I ever saw -- bar none.


  1. I can see your "surrogate womb" reading. Mine however is a bit kinkier especially considering the venue at that time. ---ken

  2. Bizarre ad, but thanks for the validation. I too, thought the much ballyhooed The Handmaid's Tale was an ugly freak read. One of the few books that I can honestly say I wish I had never touched.

    1. Agree here about that book. Parts of it come to mind occasionally and I don't like it!

  3. That ad is a particularly odd one. Amazingly enough my husband and I met through a personal ad he placed in the San Diego newspaper. We've been married for almost 29 years now. The thing that attracted me to his ad was that he didn't mention any physical characteristics so I figured he didn't have a preconceived notion of what I should look like. He was looking for character traits. People were shocked when we told them how we met, but our paths would not have crossed any other way. We both felt led by the Lord to find each other. We're empty nesters now and our relationship just keeps getting better. We look forward to retirement and more time together without the constant pressures of outside work.

  4. See absolutely nothing wrong with the ad, go and look at dating site questions, nothing different. It's called cutting through the garbage straight to what you're looking for in a mate. No big deal, everybody has expectations in what their looking for...

  5. My fav from BWM; Safety not guaranteed


  6. Reminds me of your A B C list.

  7. I noted the dairy goat breeder from Gilroy, Ca. Goat cheese and garlic. Bet he got some takers. :)

  8. Weirdest add I ever saw was a male looking for female "friend". Only requirement was that she provide her own tarantulas and pets.

    Apparently he wasn't willing to share his own???

  9. Married wants a friend who knows how to behave, when to shut up and is not going to be able to compete for the husband. Sounds like an ad for Nannies and the rich wives make sure the Nanny is not going to be the next wife lol. I have seen this in action in real life with some rich families I went to school with.

  10. Also, in this type of job it was common to have a low wage. You got room and board from a wealthy family and all your travel and social expenses were paid for as long as you were on duty. Not a bad deal.

  11. They are making a show the handmaids tale. Looks very weird on Hulu. Lots of ads on the super bowl for it. I saw it and remembered this post. Very prescient.

  12. No phone number or address to contact though...