"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Friday, May 20, 2011

Craigsfriends

 Or, how I learned to stop worrying and trust the Universe when it comes to my social life. (But I thought that title was a bit long, don't you?)

The merits of Craigslist are many. So, so many. Used bikes, secondhand baby stuff, apartments you never would have heard of, jobs you never thought you had a chance at getting. But friends? Craigslist for friends? I think the answer might surprise you. 

One day, while living in Arizona, in a fit of mild desperation over the fact that I didn't have friends whose interests overlapped in all the right places, I posted an ad to Craigslist that went a little something like: "I'm looking for other homeschooling moms. Who are also kind of nerds. Who are also Pagan.  I'm kind of looking to start a whole nerdy pagan homeschool thing. Can you help me out?" I was really optimistic. I mean, there are roughly eight billion people populating the Phoenix Craigslist. How else would I be able to get rid of my IKEA stuff so fast?

But I only got one reply. It was Sarah. She was great. We got along famously. We met for coffee and playdates. Her little boy enjoyed my little girl, and it seemed like the start of something swell. Really swell. Until I found out I was moving back to New York. Pbbt. Thanks a lot, Universe.

About a year ago, after having been back in New York for one full year and realizing I'd grown out of most of the friends I'd made here before leaving, being a Mom now and knowing way too many people who just really, really don't like kids, I decided (in another one of those fits of mild desperation) to try the Craigslist tactic again. Except this time I wasn't so hopeful. Albany only has one hundred thousand people in it, give or take. Compare this to Phoenix's one and a half million and you have a recipe for sadness.

But again, I got one reply. I was starting to get the hint. The Universe was laughing right at me and saying, "Darlin', just ask and ye shall receive." This time I received Kelly, and she was great! We got along famously! We met for coffee! (Not so much playdates, as our kids are four years apart- as in, hers was newborn and mine wasn't.)

I was really starting to think I'd caught onto something. Like- could you imagine for every lost soul mom who's just moved to a new city and knows no one? While Craigslist is daunting, sometimes creepy, and not exactly a place where you can easily filter your results, I think it's something else, too. A true hub of a community, on a larger scale, and a place where, if you just trust it (and yourself, and the Universe,) you can make a friend or two.


Originally written for Kids Fun Plaza magazine on 12/31/2011. Yes, I own my content.

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