Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Personally Speaking

Considering what little faith I put in them, I spend a lot of time reading personal ads for JUNK. Specifically Craigslist ads, which I believe to be some of the most deranged pieces of literature ever set loose onto an unsuspecting and lonely public. Newspaper personals limit you to fifty characters and guides you with a set of very specific questions. Craigslist's limitless white field, however, leaves room for an entire daddy/daughter sex scenario without the writer having to resort to acronyms (SWM ISO 5thGRDR) or liberal interpretation of the "Interests and Hobbies" question.

With no limit on length, Craigslist ads often cross the line from personal information to personal manifesto. You find these endless lists of wants pretty frequently considering how much time they must take to enumerate.

Even more surprising is that they all boil down to basically the same set of requirements. The type of men who post on Craigslist want a thin, beautiful woman who does nothing to stay thin and does not know she is beautiful, often who is "nerdy" (in the way that Clark Kent is nerdy but obviously still Superman), who is smart but not smarter than the poster, who does not expect anything to be bought for her, who not only accepts but loves the poster's sexual deviancy/personal foibles, and, most frequently mentioned, who is classy on the street but a freak in da bed.

Craigslist women, on the other hand, seem to want a tall man who wants children (right now is fine!), and who loves them for them, but is willing to prove that love in karats.

Ah, love.

The list ads always strike me as far more disturbing than the short ads that explode like a tiny and disgusting land mine on your screen. Take, for example, the perennially present man in search of a young lady who will pee on him in the bathroom of a Starbucks. That's desire laid bare. It may distill human romantic relationships to a single (mildly repulsive) interaction, but it's a fair and forthright emotional transaction.

Just wash your hands afterwards.

But the lists, the lists really get me. There's always some preamble about how the lister is so normal and can't believe they're doing this and just looking for someone sane and fun. And thin. And rich. And flexible. With red hair. And no cats. Who owns a home. Who doesn't mind dating someone married. With four children. Two of which he is also married to. Who all pee on each other. No fatties. That downhill journey from the beginning of a list of demands to the end is depressing, especially when you consider my extravagant list of demands from my dream boyfriend:

1. Be funny.
2. Wear tight pants and plaid shirts.

I really don't feel like that's ALL that much to ask. Although maybe I should add a number 3, which will probably knock a solid two-thirds of the Craigslist guys off the list:

3. Please keep your pee away from me.


Anonymous rachel said...

Very solid read of the CL-scape. I trolled the personals to see if I could find anybody to break your mold, but no dice. Except for this fascinating person, with their alluring and original use of grammar:


7:37 PM  

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