I currently live a life without Craigslist after living with it for so many years. I’d say I was a heavy Craigslist user in the years between 2003 and 2007, when the site was relatively less seedy. I believe it’s still one of the best things ever to happen in my online life. But it’s a thing of the past for me now because here in Belgium Craigslist exists only in Brussels, and I don’t live in Brussels.
Craigslist is a place you can find (or be) a legit or non-legit source of whatever New York City need must be met at a moment’s notice. I have been both a consumer and producer on Craigslist, and I’ll leave it at that.
No. I’ll share three of my experiences.
1. In the summer of 2003, a month before the start of Big Brother 4, I placed an ad in the “Housing” section of Craigslist. For some reason I just knew I’d be picked for the show. Within hours my place was rented, to a lovely couple who were expecting their first child and needed a pied-à-terre between their home in the suburbs and work in the city. This story is bittersweet though, because when I returned home triumphant and $500,000 richer it was to a dusty apartment that had never been used the entire summer. My heart tore apart when I learned that the couple who’d rented my place never got to experience parenthood that summer. They’d lost their baby and my place had stood dark and empty for three months until I returned. I’ve kept in touch with the couple though and they remain to this day happy and beautiful, and proud parents.
2. It was early 2005 and I was working for a private banking group within a global bank, which was good money but not enough when I was supporting my mother. She’d been a housewife up until my father passed away the prior year, and she had no real skills to apply to a new career at her age. And thus, one night I turned to the “Services” section of Craigslist in the hopes of supplementing my income. Lo and behold, I found a job listing for a “phone girl”. What is a phone girl? It’s different from a “phone sex girl”, and more like a receptionist in the sex industry. I basically booked appointments for men calling in to spend time with young ladies providing “services”. I did that for a while, and did it well, among other things down the line.
3. Right before Halloween in 2006 I was trying on slutty costumes at a costume store on the Upper West Side, when I noticed some dude watching me. He was tall with dark hair and dark features and a nice jaw. After meeting eyes once or twice and then going sly, I moved on to other aisles of Halloween whoresuits and gave up on flirting with the hottie. Except, Craigslist provides a serendipitously scary section called “Missed Connections” for people to attempt second chances at making a connection with a total stranger. So after purchasing my French Maid costume and getting home, I went online just to see if by some by chance there was a Missed Connection post for me, and there was. Some “tall dark-haired guy” was “looking for the striking Asian woman trying on costumes” and “regretting not actually approaching me at the costume store”. I couldn’t believe I was having a Missed Connection connection! And so with the ball in my court I contacted Mr. Tall Dark and upon meeting in a dark bar in midtown, I realized it was not the hottie I’d eye-fucked in the costume store. Apparently there’d been more than one guy watching me try on costumes. And my Missed Connection guy turned out to have dark hair, but not so much of it, and not so hottie. But he was nice, and we had some food and drink and watched some football at the bar. And well, I did not keep in touch with him.
I can’t say I necessarily miss Craigslist, but it is fun thinking back on all the uses I once had for it.