The Madness and Charm of Crushes

“If we only encounter another person in a fairly limited range of situations (a train journey, rather than when they are trying to get a toddler into a car seat; a conference, rather than 87 minutes into a shopping trip with their elderly father) we may, for a very long time indeed (especially if we are left alone to convert our enthusiasm into an obsession because they don’t call us back or are playing it cool), have the pleasure of believing we have landed upon an angel.” – Garry Winogrand

I’ve found myself incidentally having many conversations lately about Missed Connections, though I haven’t written on the subject for awhile, or even actively read the posts of Toronto’s lusting Craigslisters.

I thought about Missed Connections yesterday when one of my friends, Sofi (see below!), recently shared a link to On the Madness and Charm of Crushes, from which these quotes are borrowed. It addresses the unbearable lightness of crushes – a subject in which I’m personally (sigh) and academically (still?) well-versed.

“We should enjoy our crushes. A crush teaches us about qualities we admire and need to have more of in our lives. The person on the train really does have an extremely beguiling air of self-deprecation in their eyes. The person glimpsed by the fresh fruit counter really does promise to be a gentle and excellent parent. But these characters will, just as importantly, also be sure to ruin our lives in key ways, as all those we love will.”

The article captures the oscillating optimism and pessimism of crushes, suggesting that they do have a function to play. A good read about the impulse behind Missed Connections, while never actually mentioning these posts.

 *Sofi’s rad matchmaking service Friend of a Friend celebrates its 1st anniversary, and today only (May 22, 2014), she’s offering a 25% discount on registrations – hurry, if you’re looking for more than just a crush.

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Some Beyonce Dance Party

Some Missed Connections posts are subtly charming. I think it’s sweet that the guy fell, and the writer of the post helped him to his feet. Was he drunk, wearing crazy heels, or was the floor slippery with winter slush? Who knows.

some beyonce dance party

(Click to expand)

It’s often these so true-to-life, can’t make it up, simple moments in Missed Connections which intrigue me. They talked, more than once. Why didn’t they connect? Was he really creepy? Was he unavailable?

Missed Connections sometimes offer more questions than answers.

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One of the Million Jerks Wearing Plaid at Neutral Milk Hotel

The last few years have brought a wonderful run of unexpected reunions of some of my favourite bands. Last night, I finally got to see Neutral Milk Hotel perform.

I was focused on the band, but others were more distracted by those around them. Fun fact!: this Missed Connection took place within mere metres of where I stood, right near the sound booth.

Neutral Milk Hotel m4w

(click to expand)

Quoting lyrics from a favourite* Neutral Milk Hotel song is a nice framing to this post, but I sort of loathe when women are described as doll-like. But, this fellow at least gets points for the higher-than-usual attention to detail; the subject of the post might actually be able to recognize herself from the description.

He unfortunately isn’t so helpful in describing** himself, but like so many Missed Connections, he’s taken the fallback approach of ‘just putting it out there’ rather than risking rejection by talking to her. Same old story.

*As I realized in conversation with my friend last night after the show, every NMH song is my favourite NMH song in the moment I’m listening to it. 

**Most of my past boyfriends would blend right into the beards ‘n glasses set that made up the audience, so make of that what you will.

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Just Like Honey

This Missed Connection is a time machine, to my own life, at age 22.

Or rather, it’s a time machine to a slightly alternate universe, in which I a) knew about Missed Connections (a discovery made at age 23, soon after I moved to Toronto), b) had been single at age 22 (again, I made the choice to be single shortly after moving to Toronto).

Jesus & Mary Chain - w4m -22I want to give a big hug to the young twenty-something woman who would crush on the singer of one of my favourite bands, because that sounds like just the kind of thing I would’ve done.

This one’s for you, alternate-universe-version-of-me: 

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“You Asked To Bite My Butt:” NYC’s blurst NYE Missed Connections

My friend Becca sent along this terrific NY Magazine post featuring the best and worst Missed Connections from New Year’s Eve, and there are some real highlights here.

It’s hard to argue with the drunken silliness of someone asking to bite a fellow’s butt, getting urinated upon (yet still writing a Missed Connection), or intensely discussing slow cookers. Cleverness points go to the poetic writer seeking Zach-with-an-H.

And as for Toronto’s NYE Missed Connections, you might ask? They were much more tame.

Happy New Year!

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Missed Connection for Your Hydro

Many of my friends, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow Torontonians, lost power due to the ice storm this past weekend. My only inconvenience was a train delay of several hours. While waiting, I was kept in good spirits by reading the countless Twitter and Facebook offers of warm shelter, electricity, and food to friends and strangers who were without any of the above.

As with other storms this year, weather disasters had a way of interrupting our usual city-dweller aloofness to strangers. I’ve yet to see specific posts about strangers meeting up as a result of the ice storm. However, one tragicomic Missed Connection post, shared with me by my friend (via Reddit/Imgur), captures the more pressing need for hydro and heat.

Missing... my power

I feel pretty powerless to assist, but my Christmas wish is for everyone to spend the holidays safe, warm, fed, illuminated, and in the company of loved ones. Take care out there. xoxo jess

 

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And the award for best Halloween Missed Connection goes to…

One of my favourite parts of Halloween is navigating the city in full costume (via public transit, in particular), and acting as though absolutely nothing about my appearance is unusual.

As I took the bus to a friend’s party on Friday night, dressed as “Zooey Undeadschanel” (zombie Zooey Deschanel), in my best attempt at zombie makeup, I wondered if someone might be intrigued by me in my costume. I then caught a glimpse of my walking dead self and promptly put any hopes of a Halloween Missed Connection about me to rest.

But this definitely wasn’t the case for some other revellers leading up to Halloween, resulting in my other favourite part of Halloween, Missed Connections.

Best Halloween Missed Connection

There wasn't another priest like you

Sometimes, my favourite Halloween post is due to best costume, but it was the very clever final line which earned this post the top spot this year.

Let’s take a look at some of the others. This is a small sample, but we’ve got a few throwback pop cultural costumes – is there a hint of nostalgia in the air?

Fly Saturday Night

To the girl in the baroness costume

Go Go Power Rangers

Saturday night - Church Street - I was in costume

A GO Train ride, I was dressed as Joker, you were doing magic tricks!

Oct. 26 - Met in elevator in same apt building (purple and zombies)

Beautiful blonde at Steamwhistle Halloween party

Jessica Rabbit at Schuey's Halloween Party

Since it’s *officially* Halloween today (hurray!), who knows, maybe we’ll see some more pop up. In the meantime – in case you’re searching for a last-minute costume idea – why not check out these attention-grabbing costumes from Missed Connection Halloween’s past?

Happy Halloween!

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