"We chatted. I drooled you smiled. Let's meet again. Somewhere with a table would be nice."
So it goes at Craigslist's Missed Connections (MC), where strangers who hope that their initial failure to connect can be remedied by recalling the experience online, catching the eye of whoever caught theirs, and then maybe enjoying a happy ending at a nice table somewhere.
In New York, Ingrid Burrington of the Center for Missed Connections project catalogs thousands of MC posts to uncover geographic patterns in loneliness. Inspired by her research, SF Weekly conducted its own small-scale study, looking at hundreds of these 21st century valentines during a two-week period. From that data we've assembled these tips to help increase San Franciscans' chances of becoming the apple of an MC poster's eye:
• Ride Muni. Most MCs occur on public transportation. Take the N Judah, 38 Geary or 1 California.
• Work in a restaurant or grocery store. Bryan from the Whole Foods in Potrero Hill scored two admirers in one week. You might also try the Trader Joe's on Masonic or the Super Duper burger joint on Market.
• Go back to black. You might think the brightest, quirkiest clothes would stand out, but science tells us black pants do the trick.
• Exercise. If you're a man looking for another man, look no further than 24 Hour Fitness. Also Popular: Toad Hall and Ruby Skye for drinks.
• Frequent the Mission, Castro, Financial District, and Downtown/Civic Center area.
• Gender, orientation and age matter: Forty-five percent of posters were men looking for women (M4W), 36 were M4M, 15 were W4M, and just four were W4W. The majority of M4Ws were in their mid-20s or early 30s, whereas M4Ms were mostly in their 30s. The average age for W4M and W4W: 29.
• Own the night. Most MCs occurred during the evening, and were posted the same or following night.
If you're so inclined to write an MC, here are a few DON'Ts for good measure:
• Don't have an MC with everyone. From a post labeled as M4WW: "... you ALL were outstandingly beautiful. I was the random creeper that was invited inside [the party]....You know where to find me ;)"
• Don't sell yourself short. Be a star-crossed lover; not cross-eyed: "Ideally i wouldve seen you the second time and said hi, but im cross-eyed and wasnt wearing my glasses. Did you notice?"
• Don't inadvertently insult your MC: "I wasn't sure if you were gay because your pants were so baggy (:P) but I heard your manager say your name and you responded and your voice was a bit gay."