Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How I got a life (and love) on Craigslist

Online dating’s ‘bargain basement’ yields a buried treasure for one writer

Let's make one thing clear: Craigslist is not for the faint of heart. If you prefer to spend your time in an environment that's politically correct, chivalrous and wholesome, this site may turn your stomach and leave you depressed about the state of the world.

But if you're willing to take a risk, the site — on which people can post classified ads for jobs, apartments, furniture, events, personals, pets and even erotic services, among other things — can connect you to people and opportunities that would otherwise be out of your reach.

Cheap thrills
My relationship with Craig began in 2003 when I was a college student living in Minneapolis. I had been moving every year and didn't have the time or money to invest in furniture. A friend suggested that I go on the site to find cheap, used furniture that I could, in turn, sell when I was ready to move. It started with a $20 desk; then a $10 dresser and a $5 lamp. The bargain-hunting gene from my Indian ancestors was finally flexing its muscles and I was experiencing a thrifty shoppers' high!

I collected all kinds of clutter, including books I never read, spray cheese and towels embroidered with initials that were nowhere near my own. Then I started responding to the “Rants and Raves” postings on the site. If someone wrote a racist comment (which was almost every other posting), I wrote them back a history lesson. If someone was depressed about the state of his love life, I sent words of encouragement.

Pretty soon, Craig was taking over my life. My head often ached from sitting at the computer late into the night. I needed space, and I finally took a break from the site, giving myself a Craigslist intervention.

Read More HERE!!!

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