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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Artistry and Lunacy of Missed Connections on Craigslist

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 9:53 AM

click to enlarge missedconnections.gif

I have a friend who met a long-term boyfriend via the Missed Connections page on Craigslist.

Let that sink in for a second.

I would now like to emphasize that I am not making this up. I met him. Many times. And he wasn't a freak. Neither is my friend, in case you were wondering ... and she's the one who put the post online in the first place.

Do you know what this means?

This means that -- at least occasionally -- Missed Connections actually does what it's supposed to! How bat-poop crazy is that?

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My love for Missed Connections is long-term, but sporadic. It's a mood thing -- like reality TV. Or Chevy's. Or Phil Collins. You know it's stupid and kinda wrong, but sometimes you just need a little. There is something inherently voyeuristic about it, but the peaks we get via Missed Connections, into so many hopes, dreams, delusions, complexes and, occasionally, anger management issues, make it frequently compulsive reading. Not to mention a little creepy at times.

For example. This is what crossing the street in a crowd of people next to a married woman who's showing you no interest whatsoever looks like, in Missed Connections [grammatical errors not ours]:
"The eye contact we made as we were both trapped waiting on the corner of Post and Powell waiting for the police to unleash the barricade to let us cross the street. The Chinese New Year parade brought us together. For a moment, it could've been serendipitous, but I looked on your hand and saw a ring on your left ring finger. My heart sank, so I had to let you go to dinner with "that guy". I should've asked you, "How long have you been waiting here?" or made some witty comment about how I hope they don't let us go through, so I can be with you here longer. I can tell you wanted to talk to me. Once I arrived, you started a conversation with everyone around us except me!! Ahhh!! Maybe I had an unapproachable look or face. I just had a long day at work and I had to take a leak and...I had to walk all the way home."

Pretty much every single thing in that paragraph is inappropriate on some level, yet a 27-year-old man felt fine putting it out into the world. The mind boggles.


You think that last one was funny? Well, prepare to see hilarious. One of our favorites posted over the weekend was put up by a man, 38, seeking "Cute, thick woman at the mall". (Let's hope she's not British, because over there, "thick" means "really stupid.") His extremely un-sexy post reads as follows: "You were walking by and caught my eye. I was sitting at a bench and eating a sundae and when I stood up to approach you I realized my leg had fallen asleep. By the time I could do more than hop on one leg, you had vanished." We can't help but wonder if man, 38, later dropped his sundae and slipped over on it.

Of course, peppered throughout all the hilarity, are simple message from people who are reaching out on the off-chance that something good comes from it. 

"Hot Redhead At Crunch: I was on the elliptical, you were working out and with a guy today around 5pm. Your boyfriend? Maybe I'm lucky and he's just a friend. Either way, you are very attractive. What's your name?" 

Now this is exactly the way people should approach Missed Connections: short, sweet, straight to the point. Of course, although that's probably the most effective way of doing things, it would make the page significantly less fascinating. 

Sometimes -- and this is one of the most intriguing elements of Missed Connections -- people aren't posting to meet someone. They're posting because they're having a crisis of some sort. On Saturday night, there was a post that read: ""What is it you want? .. My embarrassment? My job? My life? ... What?" And that was nothing compared to the bitter, angry, outbursty guy who put up: "Re: Dreamland. Ahhh don't flatter yourself you old bag of bones. If you weren't such a trippy bitch we would still be together." What the hell is that about? We'll never know because we didn't see the original Dreamland post and we simply don't care enough to look it up. But intrigued and entertained we most certainly are.

This is the weird and wonderful world of Missed Connections on Craigslist. And it's just sitting there, every day, filling up with perfect little snapshots of humanity in all its bizarro forms. So yes, we know we're not supposed to look at it, and we doubt anything good will ever come out of us doing so, and we know it's not the most intellectual way to pass the time, but this website is easily as interesting as at least half the stuff on television tonight (probably more so, actually).

So Happy Valentine's Day everyone -- may you meet that special someone by any means necessary. Even if it involves a slightly undignified web post.

Follow Rae Alexandra on Twitter at @raemondjjjj, SF Weeky's Exhibitionist blog at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Rae Alexandra


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