The Bachelor, Washington-Style

Veteran Republican communications aide Terry Holt--who is separated and getting a divorce after five years of marriage--is understandably unsure of himself in the marketplace of love. So this 40-year-old father of a 3-year-old boy has just written an online notice, titled "Good Guy Seeks Humor and Beauty," for the "Yahoo! personals" Web site.

Holt has shown his ad, which is available on the Internet but not yet formally posted, to a select few. Predictably, tongues are already wagging about this combat-ready staffer of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas and Ohio Reps. John Boehner and John Kasich--who is now a lobbyist earning "more than $150,000 income," according to his ad, and sporting "blonde hair...blue eyes" and a "6' 2'' athletic body."

But we'll have no part in puerile gossip. We prefer to rely on Holt himself. He writes: "My friends will snicker at this exercise but here goes: good guy, educated, well traveled. I sail, ski and get to the beach as often as I can. I know all of the good DC restaurants, but most of the time prefer a burger and a beer with friends. I am from the Midwest, so I am breath-takingly decent and friendly. (Well, I try.) I need a new friend to share some great times. If you like to sail, all the better--I have a boat in Annapolis and entertain on it most weekends. Let's chat and see whether we can have some fun."

Yesterday Holt told us: "I'm really very tentative about all this. If I can help it, I want to avoid the nightmare of the bar scene and the indignity of hitting on people in the grocery store."

So until Holt posts his notice, we'll accept applications here and pass them on. Email grovel@washpost.com.

Placido's White House Party

* Yesterday was Washington Opera Artistic Director Placido Domingo's 62nd birthday, so Laura Bush threw him a cozy lobster lunch for 75 in the State Dining Room.

"I was absolutely thrilled -- it was an unforgettable birthday for me," Domingo told us afterward. "And the first lady looked so beautiful."

"It was something she definitely wanted to do, and it was her idea. She is a fan of his," the first lady's press secretary, Noelia Rodriguez, told us after the meal, which featured one of pastry chef Roland Messnier's typically elaborate creations -- a chocolate mousse and strawberry birthday cake graced with musical notes and the Spanish tenor's likeness in icing.

President Bush dropped by the private gathering -- which included the honoree's wife, Marta, and son, Alvaro, as well as members of the company along with staff and trustees. The president displayed his language skills by wishing Domingo feliz cumplean~os.

Mrs. Bush gave a warm toast, noting Domingo's humanitarian work, and Domingo responded with a wish for peace. "I hope the only war we have is the war onstage," Domingo quoted himself to us. Fourteen singers from the company's Young Artist Program serenaded the birthday boy with "Brindisi" from Verdi's "La Traviata." Domingo's celebrated lungs didn't fail him as he blew out the cake's five candles. "Maybe they thought I'm younger than I am," Domingo joked, adding that he hopes his lungs "have a few more years in them."

THIS JUST IN...

* Honey, I Shrunk the Health and Human Services Secretary! In a roundtable discussion yesterday with five health care reporters, including The Post's Ceci Connolly, Tommy Thompson revealed that when he arrived here from Wisconsin back in January 2001, he weighed in at 215 pounds. Now Thompson weighs 197, he said, and his goal is 185. When the time is right, Mr. Secretary, we'll be ready with our scale.

* The new ambassador for the United Cerebral Palsy Associations is one of our favorite actors, William H. Macy. Macy told us he took the job after playing disabled salesman Bill Porter, an Oregon man who succeeded in business despite his cerebral palsy, in the TNT film "Door to Door." "I haven't done a lot of this sort of thing," the 52-year-old cause celeb said. "I used work with the Boy Scouts, but I had to quit that after they decided to exclude homosexuals." The actor added he first learned about the potential of people with disabilities when his father, Cumberland, Md., insurance agency owner Bill Macy Sr., hired "a guy with muscular dystrophy, named Don, when I was 12 years old. At first I was afraid of Don and kind of embarrassed around him, but my dad treated Don like everyone else, and soon I did, too. I remember Don and my dad got into big arguments about politics. My dad, who's now 81, was a liberal Democrat -- and Don was an arch-conservative Republican."

* The D.C. Police are looking for the burglar who on Thursday afternoon broke into the Palisades home of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his wife, NBC News Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, and made off with Mitchell's jewelry while the housekeeper was grocery shopping. "The bizarre thing is that people were in the house all morning," Mitchell told us yesterday. "Someone was clearly casing the place." Stolen were several items of "sentimental value, including gifts from my husband," said Mitchell, who declined to be more specific. We hope the cops get the miscreant.