Former golden boy quarterback Joe Theismann has had his problems this past year and to add to them, his ex-wife Shari Theismann has a literary agent this week shopping a book proposal for her in New York. Shari said yesterday she hopes the proposed book, to be written with author and former newspaper sportswriter William Gilbert, will be positive and not talk a lot about the sordid details of the breakup of her marriage.

"There will be no details about hotel rooms," she said. "The kids would hate that. It's not something they want to read about their father." The book will emphasize, she added, how "I recovered from being dumped." Theismann left her for television actress Cathy Lee Crosby, she said, just as everything was at a high in her life: the Super Bowl victory and basking in the glow of her husband's superstar status.

Shari said the book will explain how, in the two years since the separation, she rediscovered herself as an individual and not just as Joe Theismann's wife and how she has now created a new life. They were legally separated in March 1984 and divorced the following March. Shari said, "I did love him. And for that first year I would have gone back to him. But not now. It took time to get over it. Now, I don't like him and don't want to deal with him anymore."

Hussein in Cleveland

Security at the Cleveland Clinic, where Jordan's King Hussein and his wife Queen Noor checked in yesterday for medical examinations, has been extraordinarily tight. In preparation for his visit, three-foot-high concrete barricades were placed around clinic buildings and security personnel were added. The Secret Service has screened physicians and other clinic personnel who will come in contact with the couple, expected to be there through Saturday morning.

The clinic, which pioneered heart bypass surgery in the United States, has been a favorite of Middle Eastern royalty for years. King Hussein first visited it in 1984 for treatment of gastrointestinal problems.

While in town this week talking with President Reagan and other officials, Hussein and his wife were invited to the Bethesda home of Secretary of State George Shultz Monday evening for an all-American back-yard barbecue of hamburgers and all-beef hot dogs.

End Notes

John Eaton, Washington's premier jazz pianist, has put together "A Salute to Harold Arlen," which he will perform at Ford's Theatre. The great composer, who died April 23, will be remembered for such classics as "Stormy Weather," "That Old Black Magic," "Over the Rainbow" and "Blues in the Night." Eaton will be accompanied at the June 30 performance by Wally Garner on clarinet, Tom Cecil on bass and vocalist Linda Cordray. Eaton, who has been performing around town for 30 years, has played at Blues Alley, the Embassy Row and Ritz-Carlton hotels and Billy Martin's Carriage House and has lectured and played for a Smithsonian lecture series . . .

The tango is In. So In that there will be tango lessons at this year's Opera Ball Friday at the residence of Swedish Ambassador Count Wilhelm Wachtmeister and his wife Ulla. The annual fundraiser for the Washington Opera will begin with a series of dinners at 25 embassies around town and at two hotels and end with dancing under a tent at the Swedish ambassador's residence. Among the guests expected are actor Charlton Heston, Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and his wife Jane, who is the ball chairman, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Samuel Pierce, Sens. John Warner and Spark Matsunaga and Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and John Paul Stevens . . .

Rep. Rod Chandler (R-Wash.) underwent emergency surgery last night at Bethesda Naval Hospital after complaining of extreme stomach pain, according to his administrative assistant, John Giese. Chandler, 43, was diagnosed as suffering from mesenteric adenitis, a viral infection of the lymph node or bowels. Doctors expect the second-term congressman to be fully recovered in about six weeks . . .

Several members of the diplomatic corps were given a final opportunity last night to view the exhibition "Impressionists to Early Modern Paintings From the U.S.S.R.," now on exhibit at the National Gallery. The special show, which opened May 1 and has averaged more than 4,000 visitors a day, closes Sunday. Among the expected guests were British Ambassador Sir Oliver Wright and Soviet ambassador-designate Yuri Dubinin.