We interview two Craigslist Missed Connections posters and try to help them find their partners in serendipity.
People of Missed Connections is a new Nerve feature in which we interview Craigslist Missed Connections posters to give them a better shot at finding the people they posted about.
To the guy who sat next to me at "The Future" last night – w4m – 24 (Greenwich Village)
You were sitting next to me at Miranda July's The Future last night. I wanted to say hi. I swear I'm not creepy.
Tell me about the incident that inspired your Missed Connection.
It was this past Sunday, and I was really busy. I had all this transcribing work. But I managed to do it all, and then finished this writing project I was working on, and I was so proud of myself that I decided to go to the movies. My friend who was supposed to come with me flaked, but it was so hot, I wanted to be in air conditioning. So I decided to go myself.
Do you see a lot of movies by yourself?
I love going to the movies alone. Last year Jezebel did this piece about the stuff every woman should do alone at least once in her life, and going to the movies was one of them, and all of the comments were negative. I thought that was so weird.
So you got there, and then what happened?
I took a seat in the front, and this guy got there right as the movie was starting. He sat in the seat next to me — he had to climb over me a little bit. I had this impulse to tell him what he had missed, because he came in late and missed the beginning. And the movie kept alluding back to the beginning, and I was like, "This guy doesn't get it!" I didn't end up telling him.
Was he cute?
I'll say he was good-looking, but honestly I could hardly see him because it was so dark. All I could see was that he had shaggy dark hair that was a little bit longer than mine, which is the same hairstyle the guy in the movie had. So in my mind, he looked exactly like the guy in the movie. And the guy in the movie, Hamish Linklater, is really hot. So my brain made this false connection that I was sitting next to the guy in the movie. And I don't really look like Miranda July, but I look enough like her, so I kind of lost track of the movie and had this whole story in my head. "This is how I met my husband — we both saw The Future and looked like the main characters in the movie."
Did you think he might be feeling the same way?
I thought, "How can he not be thinking that?" because we were sitting right next to each other and it's such a date movie. And you know how when you go the movies with someone, you become hyper-aware of their reactions to everything? If you laugh and they don't laugh, you think, "Oh, maybe I shouldn't have laughed." Or he would laugh, and I would automatically start laughing, because it's kind of contagious. So it felt like I was on a date with him, even though we didn't know each other. It ended, and the credits start, and I didn't get up. And he didn't get up. So I thought maybe we'd start talking to each other. He got up though, and I considered following him out, but I was scared. I didn't want to know what he really looked like.
You weren't at all curious?
Well, I went to stand outside for a minute, and waited. He came out, and I could have said hi to him, but I thought it would be weird. So I just stared at him, which is even weirder. He was really good-looking, but maybe too good-looking. Like a d-bag or a musician.
I Don't Care About Your Band, right?
Right. But then I got home and kept thinking about it, so I figured I had nothing to lose, and wrote the Missed Connection.
Have you ever written a Missed Connection before?
A couple of times. Once it even worked out. I was in Sunset Park, and this young good-looking guy passed me, and we made eye contact, and we passed each other, but then turned around to check each other out at the exact same time. That caused me to trip, which was very rom-com, so I posted a Missed Connection about being the girl who tripped, and I admitted to checking him out. And he wrote back, and I couldn't believe it!
So what happened?
Well, the thing was… I'm sure he was a very nice guy, but it was really poorly written. Like he didn't capitalize, didn't add Gs at the end of verbs, and concluded by asking me to "hit him up," but misspelled "hit" as "hot."
You didn't want to hot him up?
He might still be wondering why I didn't write back.
So because he didn't live up to what you had set out in your mind, you didn't want to give him the chance?
Well, that's the problem with Missed Connections. They're always so much better in your mind. That's why I wasn't so bummed when you were the only one to reply to my new one.
The ad's still up. What would the best-case scenario be?
He writes back, writes beautifully, and we go to another movie together and have the same taste, and then we fall in love, the end. Second-best is I never hear back from him, but it's a good story to have.
What kind of guys do you tend to be attracted to in general?
My type is waifish. This guy wasn't that waifish, but he was very hipster, and probably lived in Brooklyn.
Even though they haven't worked out yet, will you write more Missed Connections in the future?
I think so! This was my third. The other one was for this busker in the subway playing the clarinet. He was this really cute young black guy, and he played "Stars and Stripes Forever," and he started marching. But the train pulled up before I could tell him how good he was, so I wrote a Missed Connection about that.
Do you check them every day?
I don't. I can't afford to have another obsession right now. Once you start, you can't stop. And when you don't find yourself, it can be weirdly disappointing.
Do you take that into consideration when you're getting dressed for the day? Like "I'll wear these glasses and this dress, and carry this book, and it will distinguish me?"
I would, but it really doesn't, in Brooklyn.
I feel like I fall in love a few times a day. Some people are looking for the possibility of love, and some aren't. Are you?
It depends on my mood. There are days when I've had mental sex with everyone on my subway car. I'm always looking for sex, and I like being single, so maybe it would be disappointing if he wrote back. I like the constant possibilities. And writing Missed Connections.
Say your guy from The Future happens to be a Nerve reader and sees this. What would you say to him?
I'm not creepy.
Are you the guy Frankie's looking for? Email email@example.com and let us know!
Jack, 23, comedian/playwright
First Strand, then Think Coffee. One more shot? – m4w (Union Square)
Hey, saw you at the Strand, and then saw you again at Think Coffee a little while later. You said "bye." I wanted to come after you, but didn't want to seem like a weirdo. Hoping maybe this will get your attention.
Tell me about the incident that inspired your Missed Connection.
I was at the Strand to pick up a book, and I really wanted to buy this T-shirt for a character in a play that I wrote — we wanted one of the actors to be wearing this literary shirt, and they sell them there. So I was buying this Great Gatsby T-shirt, and as I was walking in, this girl was walking out, and we kind of bumped into each other. We smiled at each other, and then she kept walking, and I looked out the window, and she was still looking at me! And then she kept smiling as she went walking down the street. So I went on my merry way to Think Coffee, and once I'd ordered my drink and sat down, I saw her again, on her way out. And she turned and says, "Bye!" and then left. I asked the people next to me to watch my stuff so that I could go after her, but they were like, "Nah, man, we're going to a movie."
Those fuckers! Standing in the way of true love.
I know! And there was no one else around. So I quickly packed up my stuff and started to walk after her, but as I was walking, I thought to myself, "At this point, I'm chasing her, and it's just one too many blocks." If it's one block, it's cute. If I go past that, I've traveled too far. It's creepy.
Have you ever chased a woman before?
I don't think so. Well, I guess I have, but it was in the context of a fight with a girl I was in a relationship with. This was the first time for a girl I'd never met. But we'd seen each other twice, and she clearly acknowledged it, and did it first, so… At the same time, what was I going to say to her? What I thought was going to be a cute and windswept moment was probably just going to end up being a little weird. So I went back to Think.
But she said "Bye," so she'd already made a move!
Yeah, but time had passed. What's adorable in a romantic comedy can be weird in real life. If Lloyd Dobler had actually stood outside of Diane Court's window with a boombox — that's stalking.
Other than the fact that you saw her twice, what was so special about this girl?
It's hard. Because of course it's based on looks, and the whole Missed Connections thing is so weird, because you're projecting this idea of what you think they are. It's all a Woody Allen movie. That's my preface. But my projection is that she seemed cool, and funny, and the fact that she turned and said something to me with a little smile was a funny acknowledgement. I mean, she was beautiful, but that sounds shallow. I don't know when eye-fucking became the replacement to actually getting to know somebody, but I guess it's a Craigslist world. I like books and I like coffee, but I don't even go to those places that often, so it's funny that that happened.
Good to know you're literate.
Yeah. Not to brag, but I know what pages fastened together are!
Other than mine, did you get any responses to your Missed Connection?
I did, but they weren't her. One was a really sad girl, who I felt bad for. She said she wasn't the girl I was looking for, but reading it "made her heart dot dot dot." The other one was just a dude who was like, "Do you like cock?" He clearly did not read my Missed Connection.
Do you think you'll post more Missed Connections?
This is my first, and I probably won't post any more. Honestly, the only reason I posted was that I thought, "Strand, Think… this girl definitely reads Craigslist." And truthfully, if I had gone after her that day, she was probably heading for the L train. The whole thing just seemed so Missed Connections-appropriate. Missed Connections almost breeds a weird, anti-social flirtation. Like, let's make eye contact on the train instead of talking. Let's bump into each other at Union Pool instead of hanging out. But that said, I know two couples who have gotten together from Missed Connections.
But they're terrible couples. They don't work together at all — they're just rooting for their cute story to work out. They're just still together because they have a great story. But you don't have to force a great story. Great stories happen all the time. You don't need to bring Craigslist into it.
If the girl happened to read Nerve, what would you want to say to her?
I would say "Hi." And I hope it wasn't creepy when I almost chased you down. And I don't know, let's get coffee? Whatever people do. Coffee? Drinks? Is drinks a step too far?
Are you the girl Jack's looking for? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!