On Tuesday night, Craigslist’s Missed Connections lurkers converged on the World’s Biggest Bookstore at Yonge and Edward for the very first Craigslist Missed Connections Addicts Anonymous meeting. The event, like the corner of the classifieds site it celebrated, was founded on shyness and ambiguity: the store’s management, employees, and customers had no idea that they were taking part in an event, leaving actual participants to people-watch with crossed fingers, taking down details for posts later that evening, or maybe, just maybe, as the post announcing the event suggested, mustering up enough courage to “go out on a limb and talk to the person.”
Posts started showing up on Craigslist not long after the night was over. One man looked for a girl with “long brown hair…wearing jeans.” Another poster left a note for a wanted attendee who may have never shown up. Someone else asked whether “the bearded lad and mysterious girl in green jacket” had any luck. Bearded lad replied, on the hunt for the girl with “dark hair, funky eyeglass frames, bright green jacket, grey pants, sandles [sic], and a grey bag.” (The experience—mentally and physically preparing, arriving at the bookstore, returning home and religiously checking Craigslist—was cutely chronicled in a National Post timeline.) One post published not long after the event took a different route. Addressed to the event’s creator, its writer asked: “I was wondering if you attended the event yourself? Are you looking yourself? Just wondered what inspired you to organize this. Enquiring minds…”
As a result of the event’s format, no-one can know for sure how many people were at the bookstore playing along, but one thing’s for sure: the organizer wasn’t one of them. She was at home, with her boyfriend. Torontoist tracked her down, and, under the condition (of course) that she remain anonymous, she told us about her history with Missed Connections, and how the idea to hold a meeting came about. She sent us such a lovely response that, with her permission, we’ve reprinted it here in its entirety.
A friend of mine turned me onto Craigslist about a year and a half ago—I stumbled upon Missed Connections and thought as I am sure everyone does: aww how sweet and romantic.
In January of last year while I was nursing a broken heart I made a missed connections post for no one in particular that simply said: “Dreaming—I am dreaming of someone who is dreaming of me.”
I received more than 250 emails—which was not my intention—and I thought wow—there are a lot of people who read this stuff as well. I met someone from that “Dreaming” post, and it didn’t work out, but I still continued to read missed connections because some of the things people write are so sweet and heartfelt. I guess it gives me hope in all the things that seem lacking in so many places these days—optimism, faith, love, to name a few.
A few weeks ago it struck me that there had to be a way to have more connections made and less missed, and I thought hey, why not announce a time and a place and see what happens? I thought there had to be some way to increase the odds for everyone who had seen someone across a crowded room or on a subway platform and the idea was born.
When I first announced it I thought nothing of it, but I received a bunch of emails saying “hey great idea,” and people seemed interested in attending—so I ran with it.
I was shocked when I saw that thing in Torontoist…and then I see today there was something in the National Post online. I could not be happier—and hey, if I can say that even one connection was made from the event I would be happy—I didn’t do it for myself…I’ve had a boyfriend for 4 months now and things are going well—and he has no idea I read missed connections—and for that reason I was not there on Tuesday night.
It’s kind of crazy I know, but hey, you have a choice in life, to add or subtract, and if this thing takes off and people find a piece of happy it’s more than I could have ever dreamed of. I know it sounds cheesy, but then again so is Missed Connections.
The next meeting of Craigslist Missed Connections Addicts Anonymous will take place on Tuesday, June 3, from 7–9 p.m., at a to-be-determined downtown location. More details will be posted to the site closer to the date.
All photos (top, middle, bottom) by Daily misery from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.