Statute of Limitations

What’s the longest you’ve ever had a crush on someone? Failing any further contact after an initial meeting, when is it normal to well, just let it go?

It’s a question about which I often wonder when reading Missed Connections. Most posts take place within a day or so of an encounter, but there are often posts citing meetings that took place weeks, months, or years earlier. (And I’m not even referring here to Missed Connections written to lost loves who are reluctant to put the relationship behind them, and continue to post for their once-and-former partner). 

As I write this, it’s currently mid-August. Although I have a pretty good memory, I’m not sure I’d remember a haphazard meeting with someone last season.

Sure, I can appreciate that a smile from a stranger is an anomaly, but without having spoken, is that enough for such a lasting recollection? If the fellow made such an impression, I’d want to seek him out to thank him sooner – or just let it be. What is it about someone that really makes you stop and take notice?

In contrast to the Kensington Market gal, Lindsay here clearly recalled quite a bit of detail about meeting someone on her birthday (Side note: is it just me, or aren’t your friends supposed to ensure you’re having enough fun that you *don’t* recall every little detail of your birthday?).

Granted, she’s got a reasonable excuse for not having written a post, since she’s only just become aware of Missed Connections (how quaint!). I feel for her, since it sounds like she definitely had a romantic moment. I’d probably remember walking hand in hand, kissing in the rain, and then hailing a cab. That’s right out of a movie or something. Kinda jealous, actually, as that sounds like a pretty great moment. I digress…

How far back can we go? How about last October…

I have a hypothesis that you’re more likely to remember someone AND to then write a Missed Connection about them if you kissed them. This would be a very difficult hypothesis to test – there are practical and maybe ethical hindrances on finding a set of people who kissed & wrote Missed Connections, and a control group of people who kissed but didn’t write – but whatever. This post isn’t my dissertation.

I’ve saved the best for last. It’s not the best because of writing quality, or most memorable meeting, but rather because of ridiculous persistence and perhaps, sheer insanity (at least in terms of Einstein’s definition).  The award for both not letting Missed Connections crushes lapse, AND for most repeat posts ever, goes to Dear Mr. M4W of the CNE (2010) and Charlie Sheen performance (2011).

I’d seen this post repeated many, many times over – once in awhile, another Missed Connections reader will write a message calling him out on it – but it wasn’t until April that I realized he had eyes for more than one woman. Even if not for the multiple posts, the same phrase in both messages, “It would be great to see you again,” caught my attention.

At present, though, it looks like all the existing Charlie Sheen show posts have been removed from Missed Connections. Luckily for you, dear readers, I’ve got a billion of ’em in Google Reader (check the dates – he’s reposting at least every couple of days!).

So: where does that leave us? If I were either of these women, I’d run screaming for the hills. It’s kind of stalker-ish to continue posting these Missed Connections. In these other instances… I’m not sure. I probably wouldn’t remember the meeting months later, but then again, as I recently wrote, it’s flattering and a tad romantic to think that someone would remember you after all this time. These posts are perhaps just a short-term variation on planning to meet up with an attractive stranger 50 years later. Or, in our accelerated world, maybe a few months IS equivalent to 50 years of (online) interactions and experiences.

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