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Section: behavior, dating, marriage, relationships

Dear Ann Landers,
"Smarter Now in Florida" wanted to know what kind of person looks for companionship through personal ads. I can tell her. They are the same "losers" who look for employment in the classifieds because they have exhausted all other possibilities and are pretty darned desperate. And how about us morons who look in the newspaper to find a used car, kitchen appliances and "like-new" TV sets? Heaven help us! Haven't we any other resources? Not all of us can go to an Ivy League college and meet Mr. or Ms. Right on campus. Nor do we all work in a profession that allows us a large circle of acquaintances with similar interests. Take night classes? Do volunteer work? Know what we'll find? Two hundred women in full war paint and one cowering male. For some of us, personal ads are the perfect solution. I met my wonderful husband when he responded to an ad I placed many years ago. Our son is now in college, and our marriage is the envy of our friends. Using personals to find a wealthy man who looks like a movie star is nonsense, but for the discerning, sane and sensible, the personals are the way to go. -- A.G. in Hollywood, Calif.

Dear A.G.,
Thanks for your vote of approval on the personals. I was unprepared for the blizzard of letters from readers who also sang the praises of those ads. Keep reading for another one: From Boston: I was 39 and had never been married. The divorced gentleman I met through the personals proved to be everything I had hoped for. We hit it off on the telephone and arranged to meet in a public place. His ad was completely truthful. We both were in the high-tech industry, had excellent careers and were too busy to run around looking for a mate. We married one year after our first date and will soon celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary. From Detroit: One of your readers asked what kind of person looks for a soul mate in the personal ads of a newspaper. Well, I can tell you. They are the losers, the damn fools, the morons and the desperate. I know what I am talking about because I was one of them. By the time I discovered the man I had been living with for three years was sleeping with my divorced sister, I had been tied up with the louse for so long that I no longer had any legitimate social contacts. So, I decided to try the personals. After sifting through 55 responses, the one I settled on (and nearly married) turned out to be an ex-con -- a bigamist who was wanted in four states. From now on, I'm sticking with the squares I meet in church. They may not be exciting, but they are a heck of a lot safer. -- Sadder but Wiser Dear Detroit: Sometimes we have to be "Sadder" before we become "Wiser." Thanks for the frank testimony.

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Jennifer Sanchez's Comment
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies."
-Ann Landers