"Sleepless in Austin," the online ad for a "thin, white" girlfriend, is serious. By David Maly
39-year-old Austinite Romeo Rose recently posted an ad on Craiglist offering $1,500 to anyone who can find him the woman of his dreams - and a $1,000 bonus if the two tie the knot. Titled off of the popular romance movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” in which a man is coerced by his son into confessing his love situation on the radio, the ad quickly went viral as many tried to understand Rose's controversial remarks on race, sexual orientation and politics.
Rose says he has received thousands of emails, calls and texts since posting the ad (some of which have been death threats) and many question the ad’s seriousness. Rose explains to ORANGE that he is completely serious with his attempt to find love, and although many of the topics he addressed in the ad are controversial and offensive, he did it out of desperation in an effort to find someone who is OK with his ideals. “It was a desperate thing to put on a website like that, but on the 18th, it was my birthday. I had just turned 39, and I thought: ‘Man, I’m going to be 40. This is the last year of my thirties.’ I thought: ‘Oh my God. I’m probably going to end up dying alone. I’m never going to get a girlfriend,'" Rose explains.
Rose says he has had negative experiences with women in the past, only having had one serious relationship in his entire life, which was an 11-year engagement that began when he was 23. So, several days before posting the ad, Rose says he turned to Craigslist personals with his offer, but his ads were flagged and taken down. He then decided to make a dot.com dedicated solely to finding a match. Rose says he wrote the information on the site in about 20 minutes, linked it in a Craigslist ad and waited. To his surprise, the ad quickly went viral. “I didn’t realize that the whole world was going to see that,” he adds.
Over the past several days, articles about Rose’s ad have appeared in more than half a dozen publications including The Huffington Post, Salon and Culture Map. While putting these views on the web will undoubtedly have a major effect on his professional and personal life, Rose says it was worth it, because he is making progress in finding a serious relationship. “I’m kind of happy about it because I think that something positive will come out of it. I think that this is going to get attention on me and maybe I’ll get a girlfriend," Rose explains.
Rose believes the ad will help him find the love of his life, but the viral post has already affected his professional career. He says he was quickly suspended from his day job in a legal office after posting the ad. Other news sources have reported that Rose’s name is actually Laramie Busby, but Rose was able to provide ORANGE with a Texas driver’s license and work ID with the name Romeo Rose and his photo, along with a credit card with the same name. The identification cards have not been checked for authenticity.
Although Rose says he hasn’t had many relationships, the one he did have was the “best time of his life” and he lives for his partner, which he says makes the search crucial. “I really want to find someone really bad, because to me, that’s the whole point of life, having a girlfriend or wife. It’s love. Love is what this is all about. It’s my primary focus in life, and the happiest time in my whole entire life was when I was in that 11-year relationship with that girl, because, when I’m in a relationship, that’s all I think about. It’s that girl. It’s almost like a codependency. All I think about when I wake up in the morning is: 'Oh my God, my girlfriend. I love her so much. What can I do to make her day better today? What can I do to make her happy?’ And my world revolves around whatever girl is my girlfriend. That’s what my world will revolve around, her. From the time I get up in the morning, to the time I go to bed, my every thought will revolve around that girl," Rose says.
Rose says he hopes the attention his effort has received will continue, and he hopes to make appearances on major national talk shows, as he believes it could aid him in his search.