Everyone has fantasies. Some of my best spring out of the time I spend in the shower in the morning. While some people sing or hum, I create little plays in my head (and sometimes out loud) based on my real life (or how I would like it to be). I date I in between shampooing and conditioning, chat on the phone as I shave my legs, and occasionally take vacations as I loofah.
Typically some event or person triggers these monologues, and always they play out the way I had envisioned them. It’s like when you think of that perfect comeback line hours after someone insults you and have no one to share it with except your pillow.
The latest scene came out of my first real experience posting on Craig’s List. After I established I would not be renewing the lease to my Upper East Side apartment, I decided to sell my bed (I wasn’t sure of the logistics of moving it from point A to point B, so I said forget it). I posted the twin IKEA Brekee as “Perfect for a small space! Great storage!” and only asked for $75.
I received a response from Simon Rosenberg* wondering if the bed was still available, that he could pick it up at my convenience. We traded emails for about a week (I was heading out of town for a conference), and he always signed them Best Regards, Simon.
So naturally…I began to wonder about this Simon and before long, as I felt like we knew each other, he became, Simon—my Craigslist Boyfriend.
Tall, 6’2” (he needed to fit in my bed to want to buy it), straight, employed, quarky, good-looking…not perfect, but just right. He told me to Enjoy my weekend, and didn’t need to know what I was doing that would make it fun. He worked around my schedule, asking If Thursday is still not a convenient time, how about Sunday or Monday? and Please let me know if that works for you. I told my friends and parents about him, sharing my secret about us dating and that I thought he was a real catch, a winner.
As we neared the date of pick-up, I got a little nervous. Our correspondence hadn’t changed…he was as thoughtful as ever It seems that with traffic to get across town to 73rd will take some time. So you do not rush for no reason, let’s say closer to 6:30pm. I can call you – when we are close – if you want – if you give me a phone number. But I had some concerns. Namely, what if he was a socio-path murderer rapist who preyed on women selling beds on Craigs List?
Though I did not particularly care for this plot about my CraigsList Boyfriend, every girl at one point or another has doubts about their BF’s. But just to be safe, I brought my wing(wo)man Neever. While not overly enthusiastic about meeting my BF and protecting me should he be crazy, she agreed to come.
He was also bringing his friend, so it was sort of like a double-moving-date. He arrived, late of course (so typical) and climbed the 5 floors to my apartment. Skeptical about letting him in until I could judge him as a normal character, I waited outside the door. I watched his head bob up the last flight. Huffing and bent over, he held is side and asked, “What? No elevator in this building?”
At this point, I must share that my fantasy was pretty much shattered, very disappointing. Around 36, he carried a little extra around the middle and was sweating profusely (I couldn’t fault him for that though; it’s summer and he just climbed 5 flights). He wore jeans, a plaid button-down shirt, and a kippah.
He shuffled into my tiny space and looked around, announcing the obvious “Not a lot of space or light.” I nodded (a well-what-do-you-expect-it’s-New York nod), and led him to the dissembled bed. “You moving?” he asked.
“Yeah, everything’s gotta go.”
“You mentioned something about a bookcase?”
“I don’t know…$25?”
“So, a hundred bucks for both?”
“Great, what else you got. My friend’s downstairs and he buys stuff for furnishing apartments. He might be interested.”
“Well, I have that little bookcase, my TV, DVD/VCR player, some barstools…”
They ended up taking everything (except the barstools). I’m not very good at haggling out prices, but Neever’s a star. She went back and forth with the friend (a rather thin rat-like character with a long nose and beady eyes), turning red as he tried to rip me off while I chatted with Simon about his weight loss efforts and where he lives in New York. Simon was pretty nice, but combined with his friend, the two sounded like auctioneers: $40? No. $25 No? All right $35? No? $40’s too much for this. And so it went for each item. When we finally settled the money issues, with a sigh of relief from me, we all stood and surveyed the scene.
“That’s a lot of stuff, but I think we can make it in 3 trips with the girl’s help,” Simon declared.
Neever’s eyes popped. They seriously expected us to help them carry their purchases down to their van. “I can’t believe this. I am only carrying the light stuff,” she mumbled under her breath to me.
We helped lug it all down the steps in our work clothes. And when we went to say good-bye…Neever practically quaking to get away from them and me dying of dehydration from 4 trips it took to get everything out…they shook our hands, said it was a pleasure meeting and doing business with us, and then invited us to a barbecue at the Rat’s apartment on the Upper East Side in a few weeks. I squelched a snort as he asked for my number and said, “it’s in Simon’s phone.”
“Yeah I’ll give it to you later.”
“We’ll be in touch then. It will be fun.” Rat smiled and turned to climb into the van.
As Neever and I walked away from them, we convulsed with laughter and I announced that if we went to said barbecue, “they would most likely charge us at the door.”
“Right, it’d be $5 a cup and then probably extra for the food, plates, and silverware.” We looked back and watched them drive away.
“I’m hungry.” Neever said.
“Let’s go eat.”
While my intial fantasy about my CraigsList Boyfriend was fun, reality turned out to be far more entertaining.
Note: Most of the italicized portions are Simon* speaking in emails.
*name clearly not real.