Missed Connections

The inevitable missed connection (literally and figuratively) is something of commonplace in a city where many of us travel by foot, subway, bicycle, skateboard, etc. I would be lying to you if I said I never posted a missed connection on Craigslist since moving here. I mean, why not, right? It would make for a memorable love story.

I try to be pretty open about my love life, or sometimes, lack thereof. It actually amazes me how interested some people are in it. I guess because I often have funny stories to share? I’m also pretty open to hitting the digital space to assist with meeting people. As in, yes, I’ve tried online dating. It was, and still is, hilarious. At this point, online dating is just as effective as meeting a random guy at the bar — except  I can at least determine his height at the bar.

Online dating aside, one would think that meeting the man or woman of someone’s dreams could so easily happen on a subway platform or by accidentally bumping into a person as a train comes to an abrupt halt. But not so! My theory is that it’s too public a place for a possible rejection.

I often notice attractive guys on the subway. Or guys reading interesting books while waiting for their train to arrive. Or guys so engrossed in their music that I can’t help but wonder what they’re listening to. I’ve often wanted to quickly scribble “Would love to know what you’re reading.” with my number attached and drop it on top of a guy’s book before exiting a train but have never mustered up the courage.

One random Sunday afternoon during my first NYC summer, I enjoyed a few mimosas at brunch and hopped on the train back to Brooklyn. I guess I was feeling pretty confident because I caught the eye of a very handsome and tall Colombian guy. To my surprise, he actually got out of his seat to talk to me. His accent was thick, so it was tough to hear/understand him. He needed directions to Brooklyn, and apparently I looked like just the kind of girl who could provide them. (I dunno?!) We exchanged numbers before exiting the train and had a date not too long after. Unfortunately, he was traveling to Germany so nothing ever came of it.

But this post is actually inspired by a more recent occurrence. I suppose out of all of the fleeting missed connections that we feel and experience, every now and again, someone has the guts to turn that moment into something more. No, no. That person was most definitely not me.

I was recently riding the C train into Manhattan. It was decently late and a Sunday night, so the train was pretty empty. As I sat reading my book CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies, and T-Shaped People… and listening to Phoria through headphones, I noticed a handsome guy sit down on the bench across from me. We smiled at each other, and I went back to reading my book. We caught each other’s eyes a couple of more times before he stood up and walked over. To be honest, I didn’t realize he walked over to talk to me. But after a slight tap on the shoulder, I looked up and realized he was asking me about my book.

I kind of felt like a blubbering idiot, because I couldn’t believe what was actually happening. I squeaked out the title and gave him a brief synopsis. Told him I’m a writer at an ad agency. He asked how I got into writing, and I may have accidentally given way too long an answer, which made me feel kind of stupid. I was also trying not to smile too much, which is also really stupid.

Before arriving at his stop, he admitted that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk to me. I gave him my number and he texted shortly thereafter to say he was glad to have met.

I don’t know if anything will come of this spontaneous and unexpected encounter, and I certainly don’t want to jinx it. But I do know that I had to share it because it’s one of those things that seems way too good to be true and that never actually happens in real life.

*Photo courtesy Matt Preston via Flickr

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