Wednesday, September 05, 2007

CLP #1:Craig's List Play-Doh Shop of Horrors

Craig's List Project #1

So here’s my next idea. I was recently on Craig’s List and found a section for personal ads. Men Seeking Women, Women Seeking Shallowness, Idiots Seeking Attention, Sledge Hammers Seeking Brick Walls, that kinda thing. I have found many things on Craig’s list in the past, from roommates and bandmates, to free sofas and cool wine bars, but I was amazed to realize that people can actually post want ads for companionship. It’s like doing a google search for the meaning of life (I must point out that I did this google search and found this link for The Meaning of Life – A Rational Philospohy which ended in a little chuckle, quite a chuckle indeed*) and believing that the results are the ultimate truth (which in this case, they just might be**).

There are so many varieties of hopelessness in these Craig’s list personal want ads. I looked mostly at what women were looking for in a man. My immediate reaction was “They are all searching for perfection in a relationship on a free website which I’ve used to get stinky free furniture and messy roommates.” My next reaction was, “why don’t any of these ladies post their picture when they are trying to attract the perfect man… online?” It crossed my mind that they might be recognized by co-workers or friends, but I wouldn’t be slowed down in my search for perfection if someone in the next cubical knew that I was actually looking for perfection. Then I thought that all these posters might be physically hideous, which could be true since conventional wisdom dictates that ‘all the good ones are taken’ and if that statement relates to the no-cost internet dating scene at all then it means that all the six foot, built-like-an-Amazon, sexpots were taken by the first coke-bottle-glasses wearing web searchers who used a plus sign in their online life partner searches (ex: “boobs + low standards + hot”). Or maybe these women were afraid that posting pictures of themselves would result in them being objectified as hot pieces of ass, or that their online suitors would begin to care less about who they were and what they listed as their interests and favorite TV shows and would care more about the face that was attached to those interests and glued to those TV shows.

And then, as if on cue, I had an epiphany. It occurred to me that not posting a picture lead to a bit of a chase. “Your picture gets mine” is a common ending for these want/need/fulfill ads and if your picture isn’t good enough then you aren’t gonna get one back. These women want the upper hand when it comes to harvesting the dregs of free on-line dating. Then it occurred to me that these women aren’t doing on-line searches for Mr. Perfection, they are looking for some Joe-Schmoe-average guy. They are putting out their bare minimal requirements for their own happiness within a relationship and hoping at least some of the points they put out there are characteristics that the afore mentioned Schmoe either displays prominently in their life, or partially, or can fake convincingly well in an anonymous response e-mail. It’s like building a house of cards with someone with Parkinson’s disease, you’ll be happy if you can get even the slightest resemblance of a foundation for a relationship.

So I decided to prey upon these women-seeking-men. I would create three different ‘men-seeking-women’. The first would be a direct response to what the majority of the ads asked for; a professional, athletic male, interested in walks, wine, and wealth, but as boring as an wet sac of dead rats. Then a man base upon my own interests and quarks; relatively lazy and interested in beverage temperature regulation and zombie impersonation. And, finally, a man that would represent contention for the lowest rung of the dating society; a basement dwelling video game addict that uses acronyms in their spoken language (ex: ST TNG, MMORPG, and the dreaded LOL and TTYL (that shit drives me bananas)).

Be warned. The characters are being made. You might ask, “What’s the point, dipshit?” Well, honestly, there is no point. I just want to see which of these characters will get the most responses, and what the content of the responses will be. As I develop these on-line dating personas, Mr Generic, My Inner Grown-Up Child and The Awful One, I will post their profiles and whatever responses each of them get. So stay tuned ‘cause it’s about to get interesting, if not time consuming.

* it's not a bad link, it said "not found" when I tried also
** Chose your own foot note. If you chose this foot note, turn to page 26, where you will die a horrible death. To chose a foot note that actually pertains to the context of this post, turn to page 93, where you will die a horrible death.

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