Youthful septuagenarian academic, now retired, slender and fit, financially secure, seeks lissome partner for activities requiring discretion. NYC. Reply with bio and pic.
The need for discretion explains the absence of the descriptor, "widower." The financially secure advertiser could pay for more characters but I think the message is clear. Pic more important than bio, which is a half-assed virtue signaler--it's not only about that. Without quite approving, one likes seeing evidence that the elderly population hasn't given up on life. Meanwhile, the real estate section always has ads for short-term rentals in London, Paris, Rome, and Tuscany. I'm not up to speed on converting euros and pounds to dollars, but then, I don't need arithmetic to know that it's beyond me. The Review's classifieds are a glimpse into a world in which I do not move.
Yesterday I was straightening up around the house and I came upon an issue from last summer. Before putting it in the recycling, I turned to the classifieds, where I found an ad harder than most to characterize. It was in the Books section and said:
Retired PhD in French literature. Seeking to sell entire collection of French and French-related books. Over 500 volumes, hardbound and paperback, medieval through mid-20th Century. Pleiade, Larousse, NRF, Garnier, Livre de poche, etc. Complete works of Rabelais, Montaigne, Corneille, Moliere, Camus, Cendrars. Buy all or none. Best offer, starting price $1000. Offer withdrawn September 1, 2017. You pick up in Southern Vermont.
Is he disgusted, or maybe just bored, with his life's work? He'd accept less than two dollars per book. Or maybe his "loved ones" have indicated that they have no interest in the artifacts of his egg-headedness and could he please convert them to cash before croaking? I hope there are other possibilities because those two seem to me, in their different ways, about equally discouraging.