Craigslist personals met an abrupt end late last month. I always tell the truth when asked how we met.
No sense inventing a more palatable relationship origin story: Through friends; our eyes met across office cubicles. I try hard to be kind and patient.
Humor is important to me — how else are we going to survive the day? This is true, and you should be comfortable with this.
I received hundreds of responses. Among them were appreciative notes from men decades older who wondered if I knew any single women their age. In the spam, invitations to polyamorous relationships and hate mail from folks who thought I sounded uppity, I received genuine notes from other lonely people.
My hands ached from typing, and I scheduled multiple meetings a day with people from all over the Bay Area: lawyers, businessmen, tech workers, a bus driver, a doctor, a mechanic, a physicist, a carpenter, a sculptor, a nurse, a guidance counselor. Like me, everyone had been a little bruised by life.
Folded into the waves of was a too good to be true-sounding note from my now-partner. We met three days later, a year after I had left my husband and landed on the West Coast. I lived in San Francisco and commuted to Berkeley as a postdoctoral fellow in sociology.
Neither of us had smartphones or used social media. In addition to him, I met many quiet men like me who eschewed dating apps and selfies.
A few avoided smartphones. My single friends seemed exhausted and miserable from it all.
No wonder a whole secondary industry had emerged to spare you the agony of crafting your own OkCupid profile. Few venues allow you to scribble outside the lines and resist algorithms and tick-the-box responses that make data mining easier. The demise of Craigslist personals, a sometimes lurid, often entertaining and freewheeling corner of the Internet, marks the end of an era.
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