Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#BlogElul: Looking for Love

As someone who has yet to stumble upon my bashert, I'm always interested to learn how individuals who are one half of a loving couple met originally. Answers often include:  in college, online, at a bar, at a singles' event, sitting next to each other on a plane or train, or fixed up by a mutual friend.

Funny, nobody ever says, "I met my bashert on Craigslist."

That idea got me to thinking...

Cue the dreamy, I'm-leaving-reality music...
Dear Craigslist,

I know that in addition to making matches between buyers and sellers of furniture, apartments, cars and jobs, among other things, you’ve also got quite a reputation as a forum for people in search of casual sex, friends with benefits and no-strings attached relationships, none of which is of interest to me. However, tired of waiting around for someone to fix me up, and frustrated with Jdate,, eharmony and other more traditional online and offline venues for finding someone for a date (and maybe, just maybe, a great relationship over time), I’m turning to you in the hopes that you might be able to help me out here.   
  1. I’m 51, so when I say “fifty-something” or “age appropriate,” I don’t mean 28 and I don’t mean 63. Fifty to 57 would be great.
  2. I’m Jewish and although not religious in the traditional sense, it is an important part of my life in a liberal sort of way. Therefore, Jewish guys who still retain some attachment (even if it’s mostly cultural) to their heritage are most desirable.
  3. Although I’m not looking to get married again (at least not at the moment), I also am not interested in meeting guys who already are married or are not quite divorced. It would be great if you could limit your selections for me to guys who are fully divorced, widowed or single, in that order.
  4. I don’t have a specific “type” in mind when it comes to guys and I don’t much care about hair color, eye color or that sort of thing. At the same time, at 5’5”, I do appreciate guys who are at least 5’7” or 5'8". Please feel free to let your pool of candidates know that I’m height and weight proportionate (and stay that way with the help of the treadmill nearly every other day). I’ve got long, curly auburn hair, brown eyes and a great smile. I will be happy to send a recent picture (in which I am wearing neither baseball cap nor sunglasses) to serious suitors once we’ve exchanged a few emails and I expect that they’ll do the same.
  5. Much more important to me than looks, though, is that you do your best to send me a mensch. Of course I don’t expect perfection (I’m old enough and seasoned enough to know that it only exists in fairy tales and the movies), but I would love to spend time getting to know someone who is honest, gentle and kind, seriously interested in finding the right somebody and not into playing games. I don’t really care about how much money he makes, whether or not he travels annually to the Caribbean or how many electronic gadgets he owns. Speaking of electronic gadgets, though, if we do decide to meet and chat over coffee or a drink (my preference for a first get-together), it’d be nice if he’d turn off his phone and wait until later to check his messages and emails.
  6. I live and work in Manhattan and would like to meet a “local” guy. I’m also am open to guys who live in the other four boroughs, as well as close by in Westchester and New Jersey. However, Florida, Maine, and upstate New York are a bit out of the question. Some consideration of geographic boundaries would be greatly appreciated.
  7. I know that these are tough economic times, but gainful, satisfying employment is a big plus as are solo living quarters unless, of course, the guy shares space with his kids – either full-time or part-time. (Although I don’t have any of my own and am way too old to have any in the future--I’m 51, after all—I’m definitely open to having other people’s kids in my life and hope that the guy you send me has a positive, loving relationship with his.) 
  8. Although I don’t expect a response that rivals the Great American Novel, I do appreciate a few thoughtful, carefully written sentences about the guy you’re sending me. I’d love for him to tell me a bit about himself and his life, as well as what positive attributes he’d bring to a meaningful long-term relationship. Most undesirable in the response category are one-liners, canned text, photos with no words (and no shirts), and the totally out-of-context imperative “call me” with a phone number.
  9. I know you won’t necessarily send me a guy who’s a carbon copy of me (that’d be boring), but it would be great if he and I had some shared values. (I know, I know…this is Craigslist. What am I thinking?!) High on my list are smarts, honesty, integrity, intellectual curiosity, kindness, family, friends and other things money can’t buy. Please don't send me guys who lie, steal or cheat.
  10. Lastly, to make this thing really work, I hope you’ll be able to send me someone with whom I have that all elusive chemistry. Ideally, we’ll have an emotional, intellectual and physical spark that together we can coax into a wonderfully warm and glowing relationship that keeps us both from having to be in touch with you again for a long time to come (unless we’ve got an old desk or dining room table to sell!). 
Craigslist, I know that I may be asking for a lot here, but I’m optimistic that with these explicit instructions you may be able to come through for me, helping me bump into my bashert in the new year. Thanks for your careful consideration of my requests. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

~ JanetheWriter

Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima, this #BlogElul post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.