Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart

In the words of the inimitable Bruce Springsteen, “everybody’s got a hungry heart.” Although “Hungry Heart” was never one of my favourite Springsteen songs, in reading a number of recent Missed Connections posts, I started the wonder about the possible connection between food/hunger and desire.

Lately, it seems like Missed Connections are popping up in the context of food with surprising frequency. What kind of food are people eating when they’re being spotted, or while they’re developing crushes on others?

First up: pizza eaters. The woman in question in the first post lacks footwear – why? Perhaps she’d been dancing with her girlfriends and had taken them off – but no explanation is given. I kind of wonder about people wandering around without shoes [people, who I’m guessing by their financial ability to purchase pizza, could probably afford shoes], but maybe I’m just too practical.

In the second pizza-related post, another classy scenario. I’m not one to judge the alleged slovenliness of someone buying pizza pops for dinner, but the gent here is clearly embarrassed. Another suggestion: Instead of being embarrassed, use the pizza pops as a segue to start a conversation about those 1990s Pillsbury Pizza Pop commercials in which the sauce splatters everywhere [I swear I’m not making this up, though I couldn’t find the spot on YouTube. Here’s one for McCain Pizza Pockets, though]…everyone loves a little nostalgic conversation.

Of course, food-related Missed Connections don’t only happen in the context of fast food. Here, one grocery store shopper crafts a somewhat elaborate picnic fantasy inspired by a man’s grocery basket-handling prowess. Kinda cute, and a little bit stalker-ish (as are most good Missed Connections).

In the next Missed Connections, it’s not clearly that anyone described is actually eating, but they are in a food court, so odds are there’s an empty container of New York Fries or something in the background of the scene. In contrast to the grocery store Missed Connections post, this is a pretty typical example of your everyday banal message. Where’s the hook, food court dude?

I’m not sure I’d be able to resist birthday cake – or an adorable bus boy who gave some to me. I have a penchant for cake, though I prefer ice cream cake myself. Anyway, this one once again raises the issue of hitting on people in service/retail positions.

Heading further West, another fairly typical Missed Connection post. Notice, once again, the common preface that the subject of the post is unlikely to actually ever read it – that comes up consistently in Missed Connections, whether or not they’re about food. At least in this case, the writer and subject had at least a brief conversation – and not just about sub sauce preferences.

Finally, heading a bit out-of-town [confession: I had to look up where Port Perry is], a slightly older crowd dips their toe in the Missed Connections waters. I wonder where the man and his friend ended up eating – just in case I’m ever in Port Perry, it’d be good to know where to grab a bite.

So, in sum, what’s the connection between Missed Connections and a hunger for a good meal? In spite of the spate of food-related Missed Connections, alas, I’m afraid the link is at best tenuous. Rather than being specifically about food, I suspect it’s another case of encountering people in public spaces without having a well-defined or acceptable way to approach someone you find attractive. Unlike in a clearly social context (a bar or dance club, for example), there’s more of a social barrier to chatting up strangers. As a counter argument, though, food is such a fundamental part of life – everyone’s gotta eat – so why can’t food bring people together?

Is it the fear of having food caught in your teeth – or is that just my own paranoia?

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