Craigslist Crawl

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I love to procrastinate on the internet – there are so many cat videos and crazy personal stories to enjoy – the internet is like a buffet of junk food for my brain. I have access to all these amazing resources, could be increasing my knowledge or bettering myself but instead I trawl through reddit and buzzfeed type webpages, really learning nothing but secretly judging others from the comfort of a desk chair.

Sometimes when I’m stuffed to the gills with mind-garbage, I’ll go to weirder corners of the cyber-verse for my kicks. In my quest to kill time and learn nothing, I’ve pinned fashionable outfits I will never own, posted relationship advice to people I will never meet, and created online dating profiles to stalk/secretly judge those who pour their heart out online.

But the truth of the matter is, I dated a dude off the internet for two years. That’s not something that is a secret – and a large group of people know that I did (the University friends, ahhhh how they laughed at the time – what a stigma it was then back at the beginning of 2009) but it’s something that doesn’t always come up when you meet people.

Stranger: Hey, how are you?

Paris: Great, I used to have a boyfriend from the internet.

Annnnnd Scene. Great work everybody, take 5 and when we come back we’ll try it again, but this time our motivation will be that we’re trying to survive a bleak alien apocalypse while being awkwardly trapped in an elevator.

In case you don’t know me at all, I’m the heart broken type, and by that I mean, I get ridiculously caught up and moody over dudes I like that don’t like me back. Here is the blog I posted back in 2011 when I got dumped. You are probably highly impressed by the nuances and sophistication of early Austraalien blogs. I know I don’t cringe AT ALL whenever I go back in time *sarcasm intensifies.*

I find people fascinating and I am really interested in the stories of others.

There used to be such a limited way to meet people online specifically for dating/hooking up purposes, but now there are SO many ways to find that special someone that is just as weird as you.

Some online dating is like ordering off a menu – the dating profile trawl. Create a profile, select your preferences (height, smoking yes/no, eye colour, number of offspring, age, theories on what happened to that malaysian plane that no one seems to be talking about anymore) and then boom, a dating pool. You can weed out the people you’re not too sure about by a simple list of specifics tailored to your taste.

I used to tell people that online dating was great because you had it all out there on paper – you had all the facts and could use that to determine whether or not you had common ground. Whereas with real-life interaction you had to find out those things for yourself in person (boooo – human interaction – yuck).

So explain this one to me:

Craigslist personals.

I have used Craigslist since August 2011 when I was searching for a place to live in Toronto. I’ve used it multiple times for finding roomies, part time creative work and furniture. But it wasn’t until one fatefully cold, cooped up, winter night with an insane Australian friend (Lady Alexandra Howard, I miss you every day – an actual TITLED Lady just FYI), that I discovered the wacky world of the Craigslist personals.

If you’ve never been over to that part of the internet I suggest you go and fill your voyeuristic heart with glee. I have since spent many a drunken evening crawling through the pages, trying to avoid cock photos blatantly posted, and trying to decipher the craigslist codes (BBW?! What on earth…. to google!) In all honesty on drunken nights in it has become a drinking game tailored specifically to the judgey and lazy.

Never have I responded to a craigslist post, but lets be honest, in one of my FUCKITYOLO moments I’ve thought about it (that’s just how I roll… WILD CARD BITCHES).

I mean… most of the men looking for women posts involve promises of expert cunnilingus or requests to do with feet, or read like something out of 50 Shades of Grey (You want me to tie you up and spank you because you have been a very very bad girl… no I’m actually a really good girl, I vote and pay my taxes and I give up my seat *coughsometimes* to old people so um….) – none of it really appeals to me.

And yet… I currently know two couples in functioning, lovely relationships who met off craigslist.

One couple, I know for a fact, literally happened because of the success of the first couple. Girl in couple two saw what couple one had and went – YEP, help me tailor a personals ad. Both couples are killing it with the whole adult-grownup-thing, so rock on you adorable internet people.

I’ve never discussed with either female-couple-half how many weirdo’s contacted her (I’m guessing quite a few) – but that is besides the point!

In the ever changing landscape of dating and how we as humans spend our time, there really isn’t any excuse to be single if you don’t want to be, what with the smorgasbord of online options.

Step 1: Go online
Step 2: Order boyfriend
Step 3: Hit the little trolley icon in the top right corner
Step 4: Happily ever after.

Right?

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Hmmmm

Or maybe not…yet…

Free Advice: from people who don’t know but think they do, that you didn’t ask for

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Listen.

I think it’s really sweet that you’re interested in what I want to do with my life (be famous, marry rich, pop some kids, die at 99 while skydiving over the Bahama’s with my toyboy Tad) and that you’re taking the time to give me what you believe, is 100% bullet-proof advice.

You must think I’m a fucking. moron. that I haven’t had the brilliance of the idea you’ve just had that is SO simple. Buddy… why don’t you just show me how it’s done, since you’re the one that really knows.

Free Advice I have been given lately:

6. “You should join Alcoholics Anonymous, all the film and TV people are there!”
THANKyou random eastern European Man (and friend) who just paid for my (and my roommates) ice cream for no apparent reason (except that you wanted to talk to us.)
Your advice is so incredibly simple. To network effectively, I should just attend meetings where people talk about their substance addictions. GENIUS!

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His name was Robert Polson…his name was…

5. “You should think of yourself as a product, and put a post on Craigslist!”
Hell. No. Have you ever BEEN on craigslist? Wow. You thought you knew some quirky individuals. You. Got. Nothing. On craigslist. It’s like a High School were all the kids are the weird kids, the cheerleaders are into some freaky-deaky-shit and the Jocks are the guys who want to kiss and tenderly adore your feet (and will pay you $50).

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I get enough interaction with weirdo’s in my daily life – without having a way for people to contact me (more) through the anonymity of the Internets. Yeah-no. But thanks for the tip!

4. “You should Volunteer your Free Time and build contacts that way”:
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First off…what free time? The ten minutes a day I shower before I crash into bed? Or the 6 hours of sleep a night I’m averaging at the moment. Second off…DUH-FUCKING-DUH. If you’re at the bottom of the Film and Television food chain (like me and most of my friends) then you know that working for free under the term “internship” happens A LOT. That’s what we do, we exchange our time for experience and the hopes that some who knows someone who’s cat’s arch-nemisis’s bestfriends brothers girlfriends aunt’s gynecologists ex-wife will hire you.

3. “You should Stand on the corner and hand out Samples of your Creative Writing”:
Okay listen, I like you, but I kind of want to punch you in the mouth. Please don’t start a sentence addressed to me with the opening “You should Stand on the street corner and…”
Not only am I not enjoying the prostitute connotation here, but also, I will physically cross the road to get away from those Cancer/I’m a girl/Rainforest people who wave at you and go “Hey, how are you?” like they give a shit and don’t want me to sign some petetition.

“Me? I’m fucking terrrrrrrribbbbbl!!! Like, legit got cancer in all my orifices, suffering from severe abuse at home and crying myself to sleep every night because there are so few natural resources left in the world, and I personally have an evil personality disorder which makes me cut down endangered plants and animals in my sleep. But how are yoooooooou!?”

Stop trying to make Fetch happen. It’s not going to happen. And I am not going to stand on a corner trying to push ANY of my talents on ANYONE. Except you Tom Felton, you dirty-sexy Malfoy you. Wingardium my Levio-sa baby.

2. “You should just turn up to Production Companies with a Resume and ask to speak to the hiring Manager”:
As I may have mentioned (about 7501 times) I am currently temping to pay my bills, and usually I am put into Reception type positions. And I’ve worked in all kinds of offices, Mining, Financial type places, places that honestly could be Office fronts for the Mob (IDK) but also, Creative offices.

And the number of times people have tried to push their Resume’s on me (the girl with no clue) is too many to count (because I am lazy and can’t really remember). And do you know what happens to those Resume’s when people just show up? Straight into the bin (or shredder- depending on the fanciness level of the office).

HR managers get HOUNDED in this economy and are forever getting un-asked for Resume’s and follow up calls. When I worked at one Production company, they had a computer file with over 500 unsolicited Resume’s from people with varying levels of skill. They were courteous enough to keep them on file and if something did come up and they needed a Cinematographer or a Lighting Person, all they had to do was flick through the HUNDREDS of Resume’s. But I bet 9/10 it went to someone they already knew.

So forgive me for not following that delightful piece of advice.

1. “Strike up conversations with random people and let them know what you want to do, you never know who might be your lucky break”:

Starbucks guy: What can I get you today Mam?
Me: A Spiced Pumpkin Latte and a Job in Film and Television?
Starbucks guy: With Whipped Cream on top?
Me: Only if they pay me extra

Doctor: How are we doing today Paris?
Me: Well it burns when I pee, and also I’m looking for a job in Film and Television. Any ideas?

(Me, tripping over my feet because I’m clumsy)
Concerned Pedestrian: Are you alright?!
Me: (grabbing him by the lapels) QUICK! Do you know anyone hiring in Film and Television?

I think not.

Nope I think I’ll just continue as I am thankyouverymuch. Ranting on my blog, applying to jobs on LinkedIn, Mandy and MediaJobsCanada, and weeping softly into the tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.