I know a few awesome girls who have met their fiancées on Craigslist. Seriously. (As long as you stay far away from Casual Encounters, you are golden.) And I dated a nice lawyer in Chicago I met off the site right when I was getting divorced. He had a yacht and was destroying labor and represented everything that I personally stand against as a human being and always complimented me whenever I got skinnier. So that was a healthy relationship.
A big thing about me is that I think I need to have hope. Hope and possibility. That's what gets me high. Authentic connection, too. Feeling like there is the possibility that maybe I won't die alone cheers me up and keeps me going. It fuels me. (Although, my relationship with myself and my girlfriends and my male friends and my family fuels me, too, but I think you know what I mean. A life partner can serve as such an awesome "reflection" of humanity. It's the best when it synchs. But when it's wrong, yeah, I like being alone better.)
Anyway. I wanted me some fuel. I wanted me a long list of suitors. I figured I'd put myself out there again. So I went ahead on Friday and posted my list of what I was looking for, and a creepy body picture without my head. (How awkward would that be if it turned out I didn't actually have a head and that was my one big flaw?)
And I got me some suitors.
Intelligent, good-hearted, seeking-the-same-thing-that-I-am men. (And the joke's on you, too-cool-to-post-on-Craigslist ladies, I've heard from some really rad guys with just the kind of mental quickness that gets me all hot and bothered.) Besides why not do it? I have pretty much done everything else embarrassing I could do at this point (although there was a wedding dress at the Salvation Army I was eyeing today to maybe just, like, wear back and forth on the subway? For kicks?).
One of the most bizarre sweet ridiculous exchanges I had from this Craigslist post (and which I have gotten 100 percent permission from him to use here on xoJane -- with the idea that who knows maybe it will lead to a wife) was with a 50-year-old virgin with three masters degrees and some pretty intense opinions about Christianity. If you are interested in him (he's cute, but I won't post his picture here), I will happily forward your email on to him. And for the record, my favorite response from Craigslist was from the sub who wanted to pay for my weekly manicures and pedicures and do my chores and laundry and whatnot. The practical side of me won out, and I emailed him hesitantly, "So what's your story? I'm in Astoria." But then he wrote back, "Thank you for your reply, Goddess. But I thought you were in Midtown, not Queens??" and yeah, I guess he kind of lost interest after that.
So here's "John," the 50-year-old super-mega-hardcore Christian virgin. He's not in New York. But you'd travel, right? Of course you would.
John: Hello! I like your ad! You sound like an awesome woman! But I would not call you "pretty." I would call you beautiful!!!
Mandy: Hey John :) Now you have my name and can Google me and tell me what you think. All best, Mandy
John: If you are THE Mandy Stadtmiller, then you are absolutely gorgeous! Wanna get married? Or should we talk a little first? I have a great job, but I am thinking about retiring and traveling to see the world. Interested? What would be your favorite honeymoon site?
Mandy: Ha. You're so great. I think Paris?
John: Another pic for you. I have a full head of dark brown hair, clean straight white teeth, no cavities, nice breath (good for tender kisses), shower and deodorant every day, look good in a bathing suit. What else could any woman ask for? Do you have any religious or spiritual persuasion?
Mandy: I pray every morning on my knees. Consider myself Christian but love many religions including Buddhism. And you?
John: I am a real Christian, not simply a church-goer. I do not care for organized religion. I believe that Christianity is not a religion but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I am looking for a nice, sweet, soft, warm, tender, caring, honest, faithful woman for potential marriage (and kids if you want them).
Mandy: I want all these things, too. And I consider myself to have these qualities. But in my experience, some men want me to "tone it down" and I like being who I am. I like writing about my life. So I like to make sure that mine is a personality that someone else likes.
John: I believe everyone is looking for what they call "happiness." That is human nature. It is built into our DNA. Some look for "happiness" in nicotine, drugs, alcohol and/or sex. Others immerse themselves in their career, seeking more fame and fortune, perhaps the "thrill" of power. Well, nobody doesn't like great sex, but none of those things satisfy, except temporarily. But after the euphoria wears off we are back again, still looking for that elusive happiness. How much is enough money? Just a little bit more. But none of the above really satisfies in the long-term. What the world needs is love. The Greek "eros" is erotic love, lust, sex, etc. Then there is "brotherly love" or philos. But the only love that really satisfies the thirsting soul is God's love, or agape. I expect you have experienced eros and probably philos (most folks have). Have you ever experienced that agape love of God? It is like entering a world you never knew existed and it is much more real than eros. You said that many men want you to "tone it down." Well I think we should all be who we were created to be. I am 50 so probably too old for you but if I can help you to find that agape love of God, which only comes through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, I will be more than willing to help.
Mandy: You should do a Christian dating site. You'll be married in 2 seconds.
John: I have tried eHarmony and ChristianCafe. You might be surprised at how shallow most of these women on those sites are. Plus there are scams on Christian dating sites. It is sooooo hard to find a good woman. I am still amazed that some man hasn't put a ring on your finger, sweetie. May I ask you a personal question? I have heard a number of attractive women say that they would not buy a new car unless they took a test drive first. Therefore, they conclude that they would never marry a man unless they had sex first. How do you feel about that?
Mandy: How many women have you been with?
John: Your question does not exactly answer my questions. But that's ok. The answer is zero. Shocked? I respect a woman too much to have sex with her unless we are at least engaged to be married. Comments?
Mandy: Have you ever been to NYC?
John: I think I passed through in 1994 but not since. Hotels are too expensive. I read your article "Should I Change My Facebook Status to 'In a Relationship' With a Dildo." It is hilarious! Great article! What is a dildo? (Just kidding.)
Mandy: This is very sweet. I'm going to send you a picture from this sweet Daily Word reader.
John: Mandy, I did a little research on the "devotional" page you sent me. It is put out by something called the Unity Church. They talk about unity, peace, prosperity, love (all nice sounding words to the soul), but it is a total counterfeit that has little, if anything, to do with true Christianity. You would do well to get rid of anything and everything associated with that group.
Mandy: I love Daily Word. But I know your intentions come from a good place. We definitely would not be marriage compatible but I think you are sweet and would love to get a coffee if you are ever in New York.
John: I definitely agree with you about no marriage compatibility (at least as of now). The Bible warns that we are not to be unequally yoked, meaning no marriage between a true Christian and one who is not. Too bad! You have everything going for you except you have not yet seen the true meaning of Christianity. May I email you and tell you about the real Christianity?
Mandy: Oh, absolutely, it's no doubt to be a good time.
John: This is an incomplete start. I encourage your comments and questions.
"What is Christianity?" Many folks call themselves "Christians." But there is a very wide range of actual beliefs concerning what Christianity is all about. Some, who have their name on the rolls of some denominational church, call themselves Christians. They may "go to church" every Sunday, give money to the church, and try to live morally good lives. But all of that does not necessarily mean they are real Christians. Before proceeding, we should state that every religion has a reasonable "code of ethics" of principles that espouse leading a morally good life. That is also well and good, but that also does not make one a Christian. True Christianity is not a religion but a personal relationship with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many "good" men have started "churches." But all religions are man-made. Only Christianity is based upon the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Who is the Son of God and also God the Son. This is stated clearly in the first chapter of the Gospel according to John. I (and multitudes of others) do not subscribe to "the big bang theory." Genesis, Chapter 1, clearly states that in the beginning, God created the world, all of the animals, birds, fish and human beings. Neither do we subscribe to the theory of "evolution" (for the same reason as stated in Genesis, Chapter 1). Both the "big bang" theory and the theory of evolution are man's attempt, by his own logical reasoning, to explain how the world, and us as human beings, came into existence. In reality, there is no place in true Christianity for the logical reasoning of the minds of men, no matter how "educated" they may be...
John goes on for quite a while here, but I don't want to have to give out any Biblical spoiler alerts. Any evolution-non-believing Christians out there ready for Mr. Right? As he concluded to me, "If you get any responses from single, Christian ladies who are interested in me, let me know, please. Believe it or not, there may be a few single ladies out there who would like a 50-year-old virgin!!! That is if they want a good husband who will love her, cherish her, respect her, protect her, provide for her, be faithful to her, and romance her forever."
Damn it. If only I didn't believe in evolution.
Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.