Monday, September 3, 2007

Misconnecting in the City

It all started with a box of cherry tomatoes.

I bought a box of cherry tomatoes from a cute guy at the farmers' market. He flirted. I ran. Substitute the cherry tomatoes for 'video rental', 'eye exam', or 'traffic citation' and you have the story of my life. I'm a runner. A lot of us are runners.

But for some reason this one stuck with me. The whole walk home and then later, over kimchi with my girlfriends, I was still talking about this guy. It suddenly struck me as so absurd-- this guy was cute, he was funny, he obviously digs vegetables and so do I, and he flirted with me. Why did I run? So although I was only a week and a half into my residence of this fine city, I decided to do what any savvy New Yorker would do:

I wrote a Craigslist Missed Connections post.

You Sold Me Cherry Tomatoes at the Union Sq Market - w4m - 25

you: light hair, glasses, selling cherry tomatoes
me: dark pig-tails, blue eyes, buying cherry tomatoes

You complimented my shirt in a mildly flirtatious manner. I ran. Maybe we can hang at the farmers' market sometime?

I felt invigorated! I felt empowered! I was taking my dating life into my own hands (sort of)!

He never did write me back but the experience got me thinking. The concept behind Missed Connections is so interesting-- there are millions of people in this city, creating the potential for tens of millions of connections every single day and yet most of us will spend Saturday night alone. We all put up a wall and the Missed Connections forum is a tentative peer through the gate.

And then I thought what a shame it is. We meet someone cute, we feel a connection, and we run away to post an ad that, odds are good, that person will never even see. And then I had a thought: If the odds are low that the object of our affection will ever see our single Craigslist Missed Connections post... then doesn't it follow that the more ads we post, the greater our chances become?

What if a group of smart, sexy women took on dating in the big city by posting Missed Connections posts every time we met someone we might like to see again? How many posts would it take before we got a response? Would we find true love or just an inbox full of porn advertisements? And what might we learn about ourselves in the process?

And, at that moment, this blog was born.


Ofer said...

... and what happens when all of you (the blog authors) have found dates? You either need a few poly bloggers, or some writer turnover to make up for your future success :)

Alex said...

Let's be honest, it will be years before that happens.

No, but seriously, it's a good point. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there?

Pdogg said...

Why not just focus on NOT missing the connection in the first place? As a guy I kick myself when I dont approach an attractive lady because for whatever reason i wussed out on it. Result: I don't expect to ever see her again and kick myself for a day. But I do expect to have the rocks to not miss the next opportunity.

Romantic "I-found-you-again" happy-endings have their place, but then again, so do "I-found-you-the-first-time" happy-endings.

Alex said...

It's a good question! Here's my reasoning.

For some reason, if a guy walks up to me on the street or in the subway and asks me out, he seems creepy because that doesn't strike me as normal social behavior. In fact, it's hard to think of a situation in which that wouldn't seem creepy outside of a very long and obviously mutually enjoyable conversation at a party or a bar. However, if the same guy did not ask me out in person but instead posted a missed connections post about me, that wouldn't strike me as creepy at all.

It depends a lot on the situation but I think that our technological society offers us so many ways of communicating with each other that we've begun to subtly assign roles to those means of communication. As a result-- in a world of gchat, text messages, email, blog comments, facebook messages, and missed connections posts-- approaching a stranger and speaking face-to-face has become an intensely intimate interaction and one that often feels inappropriate.

Friends, feel free to weigh in.

Pdogg said...

post this only if you want but technology doesn't have to win over your life.
"approaching a stranger and speaking face-to-face has become an intensely intimate interaction and one that often feels inappropriate"

ummmmm...i really don't know why speaking initially to someone in person would feel inappropriate. personally i feel really sad for anyone who feels that way.

a blog for missed connections is awesome for circumstances where missing the connection was unavoidable. But in my ego-centric opinion, it shouldn't be used as an excuse for not being openly social or overcoming insecurities. otherwise how will you grow past that and get stronger and secure in yourself?

i just want women and men to be comfortable in socializing. it's not that big of a deal once it flows for ya. it's certainly not inappropriate.

Alex said...

For sure. I wouldn't worry too much-- we're not hermits or anything! We're all social women with lots of friends, we go on dates and have been involved in long-term relationships. We just don't like to walk up to random men on the street and say "Hey, you're hot, wanna go out?" It's more fun this way and a little less intense.

But trust me-- none of us are shy. When the time is right to be vocal, we're on it.