Craigslist & what’s happening to me?

Something has happened to me. I don’t know what it is, but Craigslist is no longer my favorite thing in the world. Wow.

Perhaps I am suddenly eager to be upwardly mobile. In all areas of life, but especially financially. And perhaps this yearning for upward mobility has cast a shade of snobbery over the notion of Craigslist and its grassroots, nonprofit shtick. Or perhaps it is because I no longer have an urban Craigslist, there’s not a lot of super interesting stuff and pages, pages, pages of it. Harrisburg “gigs” are all links to those “work from home” ads, and the job postings are few! Instead of at least one page under each heading each day, there are 0-3. Maybe 4 or 5 on some select days.

I’ve sworn off internet dating. I have a profile over at OkCupid, but rarely check it (unless I get a message about having a message), and sometimes when it is late, I get a kick out of answering those personality questions, taking quizzes, seeing what OkCupid has to say about me, and skulking around the “Who’s viewed you” profiles, often being positively horrified by arrogance, ignorance, sub-literacy or blatant lies.

Anyway, I was just trolling the Craigslist Personals. I used to get a big kick out of them. But today, they were annoyingly transparent and pathetic. I was also surprised to find that an overwhelming majority of the ads were from very, very young men (under 21) looking for “the one,” men my age (25-35) hoping to start a family, and middle-aged to older men (42-59) looking for “NSA” encounters and/or discreet kittens on the side.

Perhaps the reason I found the personals so distressing today is because I have not been feeling so malcontent in my aloneness lately. I mean, who wouldn’t like to get laid?, but I guess I’ve just determined that a love relationship is probably not in the cards for me until Pearl’s older and all the men who are now married to the beautiful, vapid girls they dated in high school are divorced.

In fewer words, I didn’t feel like one of the posters today. I didn’t have an intense surge of empathy or of desire or of anything besides pity, really.

Additionally, I have been experiencing a great amount of feminist rage lately. I am very upset with men. All of them. They are whiny and obnoxious mostly. Except I really, really like them.

Anyway. What’s happening to me? I feel like it’s Puberty the Second. Everything’s changing, and it’s doing so without my permission.

the lovely hair salon

My friend from High School, Justin Kelly, owns this salon, Studio 3. It’s this fabulous high-ceilinged space over near the Target Plaza in Carlisle. He’s got his own line of products and tons of Ikea furniture.

He says he’s living the American Dream. He has a house and two dogs and a partner and a Volvo and his own highly successful business. If I wanted him to do my hair, I’d have to book 2 years in advance.

And I LOVE giving him and his stylist Jeannean my money. And I LOVE the whole grown up hair salon experience. I had a cut and highlight, and it cost $80, which is probably more than I’ve spent on ALL the haircuts I’ve had in the past 10 years, but I swear–I got my head shampooed and conditioned not once but TWICE with this awesome Studio 3 Mint shampoo, and the most excellent moments of utter self-indulgence and femaleness and estrogen-laden energy.

I’m finding that indulging all of this womanhood, or maybe not womanhood because I am a woman every day and I’m mostly comfortable with that. Maybe I mean that I’m experiencing a new kind of comfort with my own femininity, my own interest in prettiness, in nice hairdos, in nice creams, lotions and skin treatments. I have started moisturizing my face and getting excited about eyeshadow, mascara, moisturizing conditioners. I’m finding all of this to be both an extension of my newly realized militant feminism and in reaction to the fact that my job puts me in the presence of almost exclusively men on an hour-to-hour basis. And the whole thing kind of freaks me out. I’m not comfortable in this comfort or in my level of involvement in the comfort.

I have to admit that it’s also a bit about Pearl. How am I going to be a mom to a very feminine little girl who will eventually have very feminine little friends who will pressure her to get her eyebrows waxed? How will I negotiate? How will I navigate unless I learn myself?

I don’t want Pearl to be 20 before she learns that people actually do wax their eyebrows. I also don’t want her to be shocked. Perhaps I should like it if she found the whole thing to be an horribly barbaric expression of cultural vanity, but I’m not holding my breath. I think she might possess her father’s disinterest in a critical inner life which is another thing I shall have to learn to negotiate.

Mazel Tov.