Sitting At A Table in Caribou, Chatting with Strangers– You Look Like Summer***

Craigslist. Bringing sellers and buyers together, in their own community (or not) without a fee-collecting middleman. Everyone knows about this. We have all thought, “Geez, I need a bike/dresser/Mickey Mouse Waffle Iron/geothermal heat pump/stained couch*, I’ll check Craigslist.” Some have even posted to sell things or put up a last hope “Stolen Bike” post. Basically, everyone knows Craig and his list.

But, I am surprised at how few people know about my favorite little Craigslist world: Missed Connections.

I knew you would ask.

There is the traditional definition of a plain ol’ missed connection: boy sees girl but cannot (for whatever reason) get her contact information. This is not because she rejects him. That’s not a missed connection, that’s a connection severed, prevented, avoided– it’s not the same. A missed connection is seeing someone on the bus, in a crowded restaurant, at the lakes, someone you pass each day in the hustle of the day, but you either do not get or do not take the opportunity to say something like, “Hey, you’re cute/fun/beautiful/fascinating, could we grab a coffee/beer/ice cream cone/tofu wafer**?”

So, a Craigslist Missed Connection, it’s just exactly what is described above, really. Except, you can share your missed connection on Craigslist, in hopes of reconnecting, or maybe not. I guess I don’t really know the motivation behind it, and perhaps I have just never been so compelled by a stranger to write them a Missed Connection or maybe it still seems kind of weird to me, or perhaps both.

Regardless of all of the above, I find Missed Connections to be the absolute most fascinating read on the internet. I check them, ashamedly, several times a day, and if I am not satisfied with the Minneapolis/St. Paul entries, I will start reading from other cities (most often Denver, DC, Seattle and San Francisco). Each entry has so much potential to be so different: a man seeking a woman, a woman seeking a man, man seeking man, woman seeking woman. Some are romantic, some are simply a “hey, I wanted to say thanks for a random act of kindness and couldn’t.” Some are to total strangers, some former lovers, current co-workers, best friends, lost friends, current lovers, wanna be lovers and wanna be strangers. I am so into these, sometimes I save them on my computer (Google Notebook– learn it, love it) or I make sketches based on them.

It’s okay, I can wait for you to stop laughing about what a dork I am. I am secure with it.

Okay, stop, seriously, or you will miss the rest of this post. It’s not that dorky. . . c’mon now.

Yeah, catch your breath. Wipe the tears out of your eyes, glad you got a good laugh.

Continuing, with or without you. . . while I have loved Missed Connections for well over 2 years now, this post was spurred by an especially poignant one posted yesterday, which I will share, along with a handful of my other favorites.

“the truth is. . . ” Posted August 26, 2009

the truth is: you are enough.
never has changed and never will.

you are enough.

Some of the fun of these, is you have no idea if they are directing this to someone in particular, just throwing it out there. . . we haven’t the slightest.

“TO THE GIRL WHO LIVES IN THE BUILDING ACROSS FROM US” Posted July 28, 2008

Hi. You live in the apartment bulding across from us, on La Salle. I don’t know if you know this, but we can see you VERY clearly through your air conditioner. We (my girlfriend and I) decided to post this, because we think it’s adorable, that usually every night, we can catch you dancing around your apartment in your underwear… and usually you’re blasting 80’s music.

…don’t worry, we’re not creepy. We just like to sit on our porch and watch you. It’s cute… …but again, no creepy.

I wonder how many of my neighbors could have posted something very similar to this about me at some point in my history. . .

“I missed you, my love” (This is from Denver, but I didn’t save the date)

Spent all night wanting to kiss you. Finally decided I would just do it, and you were gone.

Where did you go? I hope he didn’t have the same idea. . .

This is just a little snippet, you should really go out and read some. If you are like me though, be sure to limit your time, because if you don’t you will find yourself in blue gym shorts at a Caribou trying not to laugh out loud at some of the posts, coffee getting cold and legs getting stiff from not moving for over an hour. It has, however, quite possibly been a perfect afternoon here.

* All items currently being sold or sought in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Craigslist community.
** Just because they don’t eat real food doesn’t mean they don’t deserve love.
*** The Missed Connection I imagine the men in this room are writing about me right now.

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