The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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Journey to the Center of Craigslist: Un-Adventurous Beach Lovers -- part 1

I don’t know about you, but I AGONIZE over my Craigslist postings. In this post-modern world, no matter WHAT we happen to be ADVERTISING--a pile of scrapwood, a GARAGE band in need of a BASS player, kittens-- Craigslist postings are such a WEAVING of truth and poetic optimism, aren’t they?

So anyway. Join me now for a Craigslist TALE that begins with the FOLLOWING listing: Rooms for Rent, Westside. The author is ME-- The ad is for my DAD’S house, which HASN’T been updated since 1964-- And yet it IS in Malibu, which is a plus for some people. I did feel a bit guilty about placing the ad --- my 90-year-old dumpster-diving dad is just a TAD eccentric. But at the same time, I DO want him to get a housemate, FAST, so he’ll stop BUGGING me.

So HERE’S how my Craigslist mini-essay turned out. Ahem.
"For adventurous beach lovers on a budget, this is the room for you! $600/month includes wireless, kitchen privileges, and laundry, all within walking distance of Starbucks, grocery shopping, and the beach!"

Technically true, with just a LITTLE bit of sly charm-- But no, for the first time EVER, a full WEEK goes by and my dad gets NARY a phone call. .

Which makes me feel like I’ve LOST my Craigslist touch. It’s the wording of the AD, I am sure. My unusual, zesty addition of the phrase "adventurous beach lovers" is an obvious sign that we are CRAZY, and are in fact running some kind of Norman Bates MOTEL. . . Which I suppose, in a way, we are.

So the NEXT week I go BACK to what I’ve always DONE. I REPOST a completely STRAIGHT ad, DROP the price 50 bucks, and, after a moment’s hesitation, because I don’t like to get THAT involved with my dad’s renters, THROW in an email address. . .

And lo and behold! A flood of inquiries! Ah, the thrill of victory!

The FIRST thing that becomes clear, now that I’ve listed an EMAIL address and am getting actual CORRESPONDENCE, is that my dad did not get any PHONE calls because his phone was not ACTUALLY plugged IN. And this makes people a bit…snappy. One gal reported irritably that my dad had not responded to her numerous TEXTS which, even if it were plugged IN, would be difficult to do from a ROTARY phone.

And yet, upon opening the next email? I fall madly in love--or at least landlord love. With a British construction engineer. Next week: London calling!