Waterworks, USA

In 2004 I spent a vacation with first husband, 2 little midgets (age 1 and 3) and my parents in Virginia. While we were there we visited Busch Gardens and Waterworks USA. Last week I was reminded of my trip to Waterworks because of a comment my husband made about Wild Water Kingdom. He said when you go there, because everyone is in his or her bathing suit, everyone looks naked. I’m not all that comfortable with public nudity. I’ve been to a nude beach not that long ago, and I breastfed both my midgets for what seemed like years, but still.

Ok so apparently I am ok with others seeing me partially nude. That’s still a far cry from me witnessing everyone around me not wearing figure-flattering or at least figure-covering outfits. This brings me to a question: is it possible to put on a figure-flattering bathing suit when you don’t conform to the societal norm? Of course Oprah magazine would have you believe yes it’s possible. Either no one who goes to water parks reads Oprah, or her advice is unheeded, orrrrrr it’s impossible to look physically ‘perfect’ when you’re not, no matter what bathing suit you wear!

Another great pastime of mine was reading Men Seeking Women ads on Craigslist. This is some of the most honest, entertaining, revealing information I have ever seen.

Here are some sample headlines I plucked off of there today:
pregnancy? – 25 (toronto)
Any Asian females with unusually wide hips and a big butt? – 35
Looking for A FILM COMPANION – 27 (Toronto) — This guy actually is just looking for a woman to see movies with and go on dates.
Do you need a place to live ? – 57 (Toronto)

I find the ads funny for many reasons, one of which is that the ads read as if men are placing an order for pizza. Requests for specific body types are the norm, as are hobbies, interests and personality traits. And then there is the other part of the equation, where the men describe themselves. The descriptions are mainly physical, since that’s what men think is important in describing themselves. Craigslist provides no template (unlike Plenty of Fish or eHarmony, even Lavalife (remember that?!) had suggestions and headings), so you are reading what that man thinks is the most important information he should provide.

Contrast those headings with Women Seeking Men:
Smart, Curvy, Hourglass-figured woman wants LTR – 28 – (Mississauga)
Looking for an adventure – 19 – (downtown)
Jewish Woman Seeking Jewish Man For Long Term Committed Relationship – 47 – (York Region)

You notice right away that there are no requests for specific body types. Races and ethnicities yes, but body types no. Also, women’s ads are not offering worldly possessions or promises of exciting dates. Women are offering up themselves and asking for committment or pampering. It’s quite the difference and interesting to say the least. Craigslist reduces men and women to strict archetypes based on supposedly out-of-date stereotypes. Most of the people posting on Craigslist are fine with traditional roles and encourage their continuing.

I met husband through an ad on Craigslist. I have been reading those ads for years and I saw his. Why did I decide to respond to his ad, out of the hundreds posted? His had a grammatical error, and I pointed it out to him. True story. He won me over via email through his turn of phrase. Yes, truly a match made in heaven.


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