As V-day approaches, let us take a moment to appreciate the eternal optimism of the Missed Connections section of Craigslist. The section has been around for years in one form or another, typically in alt weekly papers (the I Saw Yous in the Washington City Paper, for instance). Could love be found so easily in a city of 8 million simply by putting out the 21st century version of a message in a bottle? Some people seem to think so, and Craig bless them for it. Take for instance the following example:
Reply to: email@example.com [?]
Date: 2009-02-11, 7:57PM EST
Saw you on the L train after the morning commute. You had big chunky glasses with black frames and a v-neck on. You were also listening to your ipod. I was the girl reading the book sitting next to you (you were standing) with the black hair and bangs.
Stripping away the common characteristics shared by nearly all males and females in Williamsburg, and therefore, by extension, the L train, the distinguishing parts of this ad read as following:
Saw you on the L train after the morning commute. You were a man. I was sitting next to you. I was a woman with hair.
Beware, of course, fair iPod listener, because the folks over at Die Hipster have hipster baited on Craigslist before. It almost seems too easy, and it’s kind of … genius:
Lets run through the snow today! – 27 (billyburg)
hi I recently moved to brooklyn from Michigan and I love it here, I absolutely love it! I’m feeling in a weird mood
today and would like to run through the park naked in the snow with a cute scruffy artsy creative type guy and
then possibly cuddle up with some herbal tea, maybe some shots and listen to some vinyl. Also my friend will
have a gallery exhibit tonight weather permitting that we can go to.
Tell me about you and send a pic if you have and maybe we can make arrangements?
Read the responses here. They are exactly what you’re expecting.
Whatever your take on v-day is, maybe the most we can hope for out of true love these days is ambiguity and anonynimity. But at least messages in a bottle weren’t KILLING NEWSPAPERS.
BONUS link: Very Small Array created illustrations showing the most common locations of Missed Connections throughout the country. Pretty fascinating stuff, particularly to think of the time this would have taken to put together:
Holla at Wash state. More here. Apparently, Wal-Mart is a huge unrequited love palace in large swaths of the country, a place where lots of men nervously eye lots of women, never seizing the opportunity to chat them up in between putting 42 pounds of dog chow on the checkout counter. Brooklyn’s love-lorn train riders can only sit at home and pray for the day when more Wal-Marts open nearby.