Finding love through FFA

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected. A student’s name was misprinted. Her name is Julia McCraw.

“Alright, Ladies. At least one of you is a Single, Sober, Non-smoking, Poké-fanatic Who is Cute and likes to Cuddle. Please come find me stat,” said the Free For All submission that started a relationship.

Roderick Bloom, a sophomore from Oakley, sent that FFA on Sept. 17.

“I just thought there had to be somebody like that,” Bloom said.

He was right. The FFA doesn’t just make you laugh; it can match you up with a potential soul mate.

Some girls who fit his description texted the FFA saying they existed, but he should come find them. Since the FFA is anonymous, their efforts were somewhat worthless. Bloom’s outlook was bleak, but he was persistent.

On Sept. 20, he made and carried a poster board sign around campus all day that said “Single, sober, non-smoking, poké fan girl who’s cute and likes to cuddle, I’m right here.”

Bloom said he made the sign “basically just to entertain people on campus.”

It worked. He got several laughs and plenty of attention. Being a self-proclaimed attention-seeker, it was a mission accomplished.

But he also got the attention of one girl who wasn’t really looking for him.

Julia McCraw, a freshman from Topeka, hadn’t read the FFA, and she wasn’t interested in Bloom or his sign the first time she saw him on campus that day.

“I thought he was with PETA people, so I didn’t even bother to look,” McCraw said.

The second time she passed him, she saw the first couple of words on the sign, but she was on her bike.

“I wasn’t going to turn around,” she said. “I’m an awful driver.”

The third time McCraw saw Bloom that day, Bloom told her that he and his friend had just seen her. She finally stopped and read the whole sign. She thought it was funny and he seemed cool, so she asked if she could give him her number.

When Bloom texted McCraw the next day, he didn’t think anything would come of it. He had talked to two girls who texted back to the FFA, but both conversations ended after the introduction.

However, the greeting text to McCraw, “Hey, this is Roderick from the other day,” turned into consistent talking. McCraw’s first question for Bloom was, “What’s your favorite Pokémon?”

His is Arcanine. Hers is Squirtle. Pokémon was their icebreaker.

“I was just looking for someone who knew what it was and would watch it with me,” Bloom said.

The two hung out on Friday night in McCraw’s dorm room. They listened to Dirty Orchestra by Black Violin, which McCraw describes as “gangster hip hop violin,” and a lot of alternative music. She didn’t want to set a certain mood. She, like Bloom, had low expectations for the relationship. She expected him to stay “in the far reaches of the friend zone.”

But Bloom texted her the next day, asking her to go to a party at his house that night so that he would have another sober person to talk to. She said she would only go if he shaved his beard. She thought he looked too much like her dad at first, but after seeing his clean-shaven photos on Facebook, she found him much more attractive.

She kept him company at the party, and the two ended up staying awake all night talking.

Three days later, Bloom and McCraw became Facebook official. They cuddle often, as Bloom’s description required. They also sing together frequently. McCraw said the singing doesn’t always sound good, but it’s fun. They watched “The Lion King” and sang along to all the songs together.

Bloom said he thinks the relationship will be “quite the romance.”

“It’s too early to tell if it will be extremely long or anything like that,” Bloom said, “but I think we’re going to have a really good time for however long it lasts.”

  • Updated Mar. 31, 2014 at 4:29 pm
  • Edited by Emma McElhaney
  • Your Rival

    As a fellow trainer, I challenge you to a Pokémon battle. Come at me, bro. You name the time and the place.


    • Poke Trainer Rod

      Wesco Beach Thursday I am free all day.

      • Your Rival

        I actually don’t go here, a friend who is linked me. Wifi?

  • pickles

    I like pokemon too…