April 17th, 2008

Something about the Missed Connections section of Craigslist always brings out the romantic in me. At some level, it’s creepy. Sad perhaps. If you see someone you dig, you should talk to them. No harm in it. At least, that’s the theory.

Truth is most folks are painfully shy about that stuff. Approaching a complete stranger in a random setting and asking for their phone number is a social interaction with a high causality rate. The subway is not a bar. There’s no defined ice breaker. Person could get off at the next stop. Could be busily pre-sorting their day. Interrupting that would be death.

So someone goes back to their office or home and posts a little note online. A random, anonymous note that only the two people who shared that moment would understand. A forum just for inside jokes.

Always wanted to find one about me. Because I’ve always wondered how that felt. That moment when you first discover that someone random, whom you may not have noticed, whom you may have glanced at and looked away from, whom you may never have thought about again until you read this little love note, saw you and thought something grand about you. Even if it’s only that they wanted to fuck you.

It has to be the ultimate day-maker.

I got a whiff of it once. Years ago in DC, a friend of mine found a missed connection directed at her a few days after a gallery crawl. It was vague, but she knew exactly who posted it. She was excited. Not because the man was something intoxicating, but because it was a second chance you don’t often get. They set up a time to meet, and made it a specific spot so there would be no confusion.

Time and date arrived and she stood excited at the threshold of a restaurant where they were going to pick up their conversation. The poster approached, and the exchange was brief.

“Ummm, you’re not her,” he said, with what she later described as complete heartbreak written across his face.

“Are … are you sure?” was the only response she could muster.

“Yeah. Ugh. This sucks. This fucking sucks.” And he turned, and walked away.

Never knew who to feel worse for.