Three weeks ago, in a fairly unprecedented move, I posted an ad on Craig's List.
I've done this before, mind you.
In the Rants & Raves section I've snarled about politics, The Ex, and other tedium); in "Free Stuff" and "For Sale" I've scoured and discovered cheap-but-nifty furniture (scored two related, gorgeous, near-brand new, high-end living room pieces - overstuffed - for a song... a very cheap song); and I've posted "Seeking" ads under real estate.
These relationships, if you will, have all been self-serving and defined by my needs at that moment: needed a new home quick; desired furniture for that new unfurnished home; succumbed to mindless, well-written (if I do say so myself) venting on the appropriate board. They've all been quite mutually satisfying pair-offs: open, honest, no bite marks, no snarky morning-after banter, no egos were jabbed, and no, "I'll call you....".
(When I'm feeling really obtuse, it's moderately fun to read other people's nonsense especially in Rants & Raves. Geez, people get REALLY angry and, apparently, anger begets poor spelling, grammar snags and a lot of really awesome foul language mixed with a general lack of common sense. Go see for yourself - why take my word? Here's the 'rnr' for New York City: Rants & Raves. )
But the ad I posted wasn't for furniture or a house or to give someone hell about something, or to give something away (except maybe my fear of the unknown).
My ad was for a date. A strictly platonic date, and it went like this:
Seeking Date for Afternoon Business Party - Jan 27th - w4m - 44
This Sunday afternoon, my employer's family is throwing a birthday party for their father who turns an elder age this week. I was invited to bring "someone special... if you have one." Well, currently I don't.The party hosts graciously invited the staff from our office, and everyone with whom I work is married and bringing their spouse. (With the exception of one or two older persons who are happily un-partnered.)
So, in this New Year, armed with my You-Only-Live-Once resolution I throw this out to CL.
I'm a 5'8", average redhead (natural), with a good sense of humor, manners, college educated (BFA, MA); excellent speaking voice, who knows how to present herself appropriately.
You would be another business-person-type or perhaps a teacher or writer who is looking for something to do (not to mention unusual. Can we venture to say the hazard potential of this is HUGE? On the other hand the upside could be stellar.)
You're in a suite and tie, and for volunteering your date-only services (which do not include sex and/or PDAs) you will receive a good Kosher mean amongst some very nice folks, and definitely an unusual story to tell.Party is in Nassau County, north shore, at a Kosher restaurant (good reviews from what I've read), from 1PM - 4:30 PM or earlier if they haul out the cake sooner.
No strings. No follow-up expectations. No pay (except the experience!)"
Nevermind I was hoping for a tall man.
An educated, presentable, nice looking man, unmarried (no two-timing cads).
Nevermind I had no business hoping for particulars.
The replies were as varied as chocolates in a box... or, more appropriately, as varied as the nuts in Planter's Party-Mix. They ranged in age from 29ish to 61ish; in height from an apologetic "only 5'4" but I'm all man" to "I have a great ass, here's a picture" - however tall that is. Yeah, some lifeguard-type sent me a butt-shot (self-taken) in a mirror. Nice tan lines but that was it.
I picked one from the bunch but in hindsight he really picked me. Nice reply to my post, including a picture (which I forwarded immediatley to my best friend). When I told him over the phone - during our first and only conversation the day before the party - I'd pretty much caved-in and chickened out, he said, "Oooh no. We're going. And I am going to be such a great date - you are going to love this - I am going to make you look soooo good. Trust me: You'll have a great time. C'mon, we have to go!"
And - with only a photograph, a couple E-mail stitches in a brief conversation thread - and ONE phone call - I said, "OK. We'll go." (I don't need someone to 'make' me look good but I was curious.)
(Oddly enough, it turned out my best friend knew him.) Sort of. She and her family and this guy were seated randomly together at a Masonic event last year. She vaguely recalled his face over a couple days, so when I replied to his note I mentioned I knew him "sort of..." He confirmed the facts I had and yes it was him. We agreed he'd pick me up at 12:15 PM the day of the party, at my front door.
He was a good date. Gentlemanly, mannered, nicely put together and handsome with a quirky something going on (personality-wise) and he smelled pretty damned good, too, when I got close enough to notice. He was tall, intelligent, and nervous enough to laugh at the whole thing.
We had fun. He remembered just about everyone's name to whom he was introduced. He did the door/chair/refil your drink thing. I enjoyed it, though unfamiliar. My co-workers were slack-jawed that I appeared with a date after a long period of self-imposed 'dating celibacy' (my term), and asked me secretly, "Where the hell did you come up with HIM?!"
We ended the date by 5:30 PM with simple handshake and it was done. "No strings. No follow-up expectations. No pay (except the experience!)"
I said I would.