Humor Magazine

That Guy From Craigslist

By Katie Hoffman @katienotholmes

“That’s the femur bone of my last date.” It was how he welcomed me into his apartment for the very first time. I laughed in nervous good humor because as funny as it was, you truly never know with some guy you found on Craigslist.

It was May 2012, not long after I graduated college, and I was entering into my third month of job search torment. I started applying for jobs back in March, certain I’d have an amazing gig lined up by the time I walked across the stage as part of the Class of 2012, but the reality of finding a job with an English degree settled in rather quickly. By May, I was putting in applications everywhere: CareerBuilder, Indeed, Monster, Mediabistro, LinkedIn… the list goes on. It was only a matter of time before my wayward job search pushed me into Craigslist’s creepy arms.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 5.17.03 AM

My familiarity with the Craigslist universe up until that point was limited to perusing the listings on Missed Connections (which ranged from pathetic to heartbreaking—for the record, I assume every brunette on Missed Connections is me; what can I say? Lots of people miss connections with me). Now that I’d become desperate enough to actually apply for jobs on this Internet sinkhole of debauchery, my curiosity got the best of me, and pretty soon I was scouring the personal ads like I was reading a trash romance novel you just can’t put down, reading posts from users seeking “snow bunnies,” “BBW,” and potentially-sacrificial virgins.

Craigslist really was as sordid as its reputation had led me to believe.

Yet, in the abyss of disgusting propositions and covert pleas for illicit drugs, I came across a story—a story about a bad date aptly titled, “Those Fucking Teeth.” With a hook like that, how could I resist?

Unlike all of the other postings on Craigslist, there was no call to action at the end of this epic tale. What I had stumbled upon was a disastrously hilarious, well-written story.

They were the most amazing, opulent, alarming, astonishing, astounding, ample, awash, bewildering, brimming, bulky, burly, capacious, colossal, commodious, considerable, copious, crowded, dazing, enormous, extensive, electrifying, flabbergasting, full, gigantic, heavyweight, hefty, huge, hulking, humongous, husky, immense, impressive, jumbotron, mammoth, massive, mondo, monstrous, oversized, packed, perplexing, ponderous, prodigious, roomy, sizable, staggering, striking, startling, stunning, stupefying, stuffed, substantial, super colossal, thundering, tremendous, vast, voluminous, walloping and even beautiful things I’d ever seen. They were…those fucking teeth.

As a fellow writer with an appreciation for exaggeration, I was compelled to send a complimentary email.

Can’t resist telling you this since I actually did read that entire story, that was fucking hilarious and genuinely well-written, which is rare on craigslist.

To my surprise, he actually responded without explicitly trying to lure me to his murderous lair:

Thanks Kate. There’s a lot more like it on my blog if you’d like to check it out. How’s your weekend going so far?

…What? Kate? He Kated me? My name was clearly listed as “Katie” in my email account info. If you think I’d give a Craigslist stranger the benefit of the doubt and let this “Kate” go uncorrected, well…

I know it’s just one small vowel, but calling me Kate really trips my bitch switch. Honest mistake, I know. I just hate being called Kate. That extra syllable is an essential part of my whole identity.

Anyway, it’s going well. Can’t complain, how about yours?

He sent another response to my email informing me he was working on another story about a Ukrainian chick he went out with and a bad dog owner. I decided not to respond to that email.

What was I doing? Was I actually going to strike up some kind of a relationship with some random guy who wrote a story, albeit excellent, and subsequently published it on Craigslist? The whole account could have been fictionalized, and the woman in question could be in his dungeon right now! Accepting that every person has a dating history is one thing, but actually reading about it in graphic detail is quite another. Besides, this dude had some specific preferences…

That being said, ‘alterna’ is my favorite kind of chick. Black, purple, or red short hair; hot, tight, black clothes with fish net stockings; and an overall attitude to match. The Suicide Girls website will show you the top end of what I’m extremely attracted too (but not that Betty Page shit). As much as I LOVE this look, I’ve never actually dated an alterna-chick simply because I’m not some Neo-Nazi skin head with a skateboard, six pack abs, and a meth habit. So, when this alterna-chick told me that she was interested in meeting me, I told her the cold hard truth; I look like Lyle Lovitt and Meatloaf had a baby at a nuclear test site.

Meanwhile, I look like I should appear in an admissions pamphlet for a liberal arts college.

I forgot our entire exchange for 19 days, until I happened upon a second story during my recreational Craigslisting. I didn’t need to see a byline to know the same guy I contacted earlier in the month was this story’s author. I don’t know what compelled me to do it, boredom, intrigue, or a sense of grammatical superiority, but I wrote yet another email.

I’ve read one of your posts before, I think. (I’m saying I think, but really I know because writing style is especially easy to pick out on craigslist seeing as the majority of people posting lack it altogether. This is what I’m using my English degree for.) If I can offer you one piece of unsolicited criticism though: periods go inside quotation marks. Always.

The entire thing was hilarious, though. This shit really happens to you?

And he responded in kind:

Periods go inside quotation marks…pshaw! Not MY periods. lol. Y’know, I actually know that but I’m a writer, not an editor. If I could afford an editor you’d be reading these from NOT Craigslist. but thanks. lol. But yes, these things DO actually happen to me and there’s many more. Which one did you read? If you’d like, I’ll send you a link to the entire 3 season, 9 episode series of The Friend Zone. (The third season has deleted scenes and outtakes). (I want to POINT to that period outside of that parenthetical phrase, but there’s no button for that so just imagine me pointing at it with a triumphant smile on my face.)

Nice subject line by the way, smart ass. What’s your story? Never had a bad internet date experience?

Not long after that we were texting and talking on the phone, and eventually I was standing in front of my closet trying to pick the right outfit for my first date with a much older man I found through his writing on Craigslist.

Since I know you’re wondering what outfit I ultimately chose, I wore this cute one-shoulder top with capris. I’ve included a picture below for reference (not from our date).

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 5.57.11 AM

He took me to the farm and out for ice cream. I didn’t realize then that the farm would become one of our special places.

2012-07-22 14.52.17



In the beginning I was ashamed of our relationship. Dating a guy from Craigslist who’s 17 years my senior is incredibly out of character for me. It would probably be less of a shock to hear I was the mastermind behind a sophisticated heist than be in a relationship “like that.” I’ve never been that free-spirited, renegade who throws caution to the wind and middle fingers anyone who has something to say about how I choose to live my life. Maybe it’s a product of my perfectionism or the years I spent being overweight, but I’ve always been deeply concerned with how people perceive me. After leaving college behind, losing 100 pounds, and now getting into a relationship with a guy I met on the Internet, I was dealing a lot of change. I was changing, and I was going it alone for a while because I was so concerned about what people would think of our relationship, and more importantly then, what people would think of me. There was a time when I was that scared and selfish.

But sometimes life has a way of spiting you in the most beautiful ways, and so of course it stands to reason that the older man I first regarded as a potential killer who’s age and origin on Craigslist made him an unfit suitor would be the one to show me true fearlessness.

That guy from Craigslist showed me how to be free, how to be brave, how to embrace happiness for happiness’s sake. That guy from Craigslist brought me apple juice when I went to the hospital for my gallstones after we had been dating less a month, and even though I almost died of embarrassment in the waiting room when that guy from Craigslist announced he could see a patient’s balls, he still did his best make me feel better. That guy from Craigslist accepts that I don’t wash dishes or clean up after myself. That guy from Craigslist graciously handles my frequent criticism of his spelling and grammar. That guy from Craigslist may have been trying to live out a Lost Evangeline Lily-Kate fantasy by calling me Kate, but now he knows better. That guy from Craigslist welcomed a cat into his apartment despite being a feline skeptic. That guy from Craigslist put time and effort into an amazing scavenger hunt for our first anniversary. That guy from Craigslist unconditionally accepts me for who I am in a way I wish I had accepted him and our relationship from the very beginning. That guy from Craigslist offered me unspoken forgiveness for all those times in the beginning when I’m sure he thought that I was embarrassed of him, of us being together.

Admittedly, it isn’t the story I imagined I’d be telling my children someday. Like so many others, I always assumed I’d marry a high school sweetheart, a charming guy at the bar with a clever line that separated him from the droves of douchebags, a like-minded bibliophile in one of my English classes in college, or someone famous who improves their Q scores by dating “regular people.” I never imagined that Craigslist, undisputed haven for killers, people too shady for eBay, unwanted furniture, and philanderers, would be the place I’d meet the love of my life, but life isn’t always what you expect, and that doesn’t always connote disappointment.

Sometimes the things you don’t expect of your life become the best things—the things on your mind that bring a smile to your lips in your quiet moments alone, the things that words can’t describe, the things that stop being things and just become part of your story.

As “you and me” became “us” and “mine” became “ours,” that guy from Craigslist simply became: my guy.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog