My Craigslist "Situation"
The question is… what did I get myself into? The answer is I'm still not quite sure. I Should have hopped in my car and road-tripped it over to visit my cousin who was only here for her baby bro's wedding. I should have done the family thing but my boys were not keen on the drive and, you know what they say, idle hands are the devil's playground...
I wrote for a while then let my hands be still. Scarlet and Rusty's story is hot and I love it but, as with all the love stories in this series, there is a social cause I'm trying to bring awareness to. This story's social cause is childhood molestation and its tough to write, turns my stomach and gets me angry. That, coupled with the fact that I use the Pomodoro Technique when I write lends itself to frequent breaks from the story. Sundays are my day off of social media so… I checked in on a favorite new past-time of mine… “missed connections” on craigslist!
Calm down before you get all upset, or concerned I was not looking for myself. It's strictly entertaining. With that said I have no problem with online dating but I assure you if the time comes to go there I will not be using craigslist, no offense to anyone who does, but that's a little too redneck even for me. (And yes, as a planner I already have the time to start dating online planned out... if that whole 'real-life' dating thing doesn't work out for me in its due time)
Anyway I LOVE the missed connections on craigslist. I first found out about them after the leaving, but before the moving because of a morning radio spoof on my commute into work. Before then I had no idea how entertaining craigslist can be. These precious posts, written in a moment of hope or desperation were totally cracking me up. Since then I find great joy in surfing all the major craigslist city sites for missed connections. Some are creepy stalker-ish. Some are obviously people who are way too into themselves and are convinced a random person they don't know would remember the red shirted person that looked their fine a** up and down at the Texaco! My point is they are simply adorable and the words written in passion deserve to be read and appreciated.
Yesterday, I looked through them again, hitting the local section first, because you never know what kind of local love connection can happen over a craigslist missed connection. There is an ulterior motive for reading them too, someday, I will write a craigslist missed connection love story. I have it mostly roughed out in my brain, just need to get the words out. But I digress… back to my story, I bet you're expecting me to say I found me in a missed connection aren't you? Wouldn't that just be ironic, the one person NOT looking for themselves but simply appreciating the words and passion finds herself the center of one of them. Yeah, well that's fiction, it didn't happen. What did happen is the point of this comeback post. I exhausted the local missed connections and I remembered a conversation I recently had with someone who also peruses the craiglist personals. I promise I have NEVER looked at them except the missed connections… before yesterday that is. But you know, I was bored, I needed reprieve from a particularly hard scene I was writing and I am single and officially calling myself available now so I did a really dumb thing and I looked at more than the missed connections.
Again… I should have driven the car to the cuz! I should have looked at Seattle or New York's missed connections but no, I looked at local personals. I justified it to myself by calling it research though and to prove I was “researching” here are my findings so it doesn't seem too depraved or desperate of me to be snooping around on craigslist's personal section. Here's what I found: women are a lot less likely to post an ad than men, sorry guys if you're looking for your honey on CL she's not there, but there are a handful of women in their 50s looking for love... Men outnumber the ladies approximately 3 to 1 and most of them want a picture of you to know it's not a spambot, mmmmhmmm. Also, strictly platonic is a lie. I'm pretty sure no one knows what the word actually means, which for the record is, “a non-sexual connection” I think people think it means they don't have sex on their first “platonic” meeting or something like that ;).
Now comes my situation… it's about time after all these words, yeah?! Here's the story (and it's true I promise). I was looking in the m4w and had surmised that these men are pretty much all cheaters looking for a “sex kitten,” “partner in crime,” “something discreet,” or looking for someone who wants a daddy, so ewww! BUT, I'm writing a story with an infidelity theme in it and these posts are fodder for my fiction!
I put an ask out on FB and got amazing feedback from cheaters of all ages, genders and socioeconomic backgrounds (as based on my FB friends). What I learned from those interviews are cheaters cheat for a multitude of reasons but their mindset is completely different from mine. I am a serial monogamist. By nature, by nurture and by my choice of faith I don't have the slightest desire inside me to have more than one intimate relationship. It's not me, it's not how I operate. I guess, until I did the interviews I sort of supposed everyone was like-minded. Sure, people cheat but it's a thing that happens that causes guilt or conflict internally or is otherwise deemed “wrong” by the cheater. That's not really so and it was shocking to me to learn this.
It was another paradigm shift. How had I come 38 years and not realized some cheaters, dare I say most cheaters, like to cheat and get something out of it and think of it in a completely different way than I ever have? I am in no way, shape or form interested in changing my choice to be monogamous. I like, I want, I need to believe in having a soul-mate, a one and only lover that I'm free to express my deepest secrets to unabashedly. But this other way of thinking, fascinates me even as it is unsettling to my sensibilities. I want to understand it.
There I was on craigslist in the middle of multiple cheater posts, just waiting for my email. So… I emailed and I got responses. And that's where I'm at. I'm not entertaining any of the cheaters, I'm simply asking open-ended questions to understand why. And they like to talk as long as it's anonymous, which for me it's not because they know I'm a writer writing a book that deals with infidelity.
What I should have done differently was invented an anonymous email for myself instead of using my author one. I should have looked at posts in other far, far away cities, I should have waited until I have my gun rights back in case any creep comes after me now because it's slightly scary to be dialoging with people I know NOTHING about. But all in all, I am floored, confused, unsure how their mindsets can be so different. I guess it makes me sad for the partners if they are monogamous… more than sad it breaks my heart for them. It hurts so bad and I don't think the hurt can be translated in a way a cheater mindset would understand. It is a topic I'll continue to research but never participate in.
And that, ladies and gentlemen is the situation. :D
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