Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm the Missed Connections Chick

My obsession with Personal Ads probably began after seeing “Ghost World”. The main characters respond to a Missed Connections ad posing as the intended recipient to see what kind of freak puts Missed Connections ads in the paper. My fascination might go back even further, as I vaguely remember reading the personal ads in the Foxxy Shopper that would show up on our doorstep Wednesday nights. Eventually, I found Craigslist and their selection of lovely personals and started sharing the more interesting ones on my Facebook page, which even inspired weekly dramatic readings over Bloody Marys at my cousin’s house on Sunday mornings.

Why the obsession with Personals and Missed Connections? It is so romantic and utterly creepy that it is hard to not be attracted like a moth to a flame. Some of the messages are so sweet, the others so incredibly strange that it is frightening to know that these people live in our community, possibly even right next door to us.

The creepy version of the story is you reply to an ad, and wind up in a basement being told to put the lotion on the skin by this guy or someone like him:

Or if you want to see something really, really creepy. Check out and allow it to access your Facebook page. I had nightmares after that shit.

But what is romantic about it? The idea that love at first sight does exist; the nagging thought that perhaps when we weren't looking we missed the incredibly rare, real thing that manifests itself after a simple meeting of the eyes. It is the possibility that a simple interaction with another human being, a moment if you will, could lead to everything we've ever dreamed of in a story that sounds like a Meg Ryan movie. And at the very least, it is a huge compliment that with the hustle and bustle of our daily lives that in the middle of it all someone noticed you. Something about you made you stand out to someone and they want to get to know more about you.

Now, obviously, people aren't always on there looking for true love. Most of the ads I see are one of four things:

Creepy posts

Posts from people looking to reconnect with the past (in this case, in kind of a creepy way)

Posts by people unsure about approaching for whatever reason

Posts by people looking for a hook-up

What came from this was a terrible, terrible joke that I played on the boyfriend. I feel the need to confess (and brag a little) about the best prank I ever pulled.

It started when BF got hired to work for a home delivery service with a very distinct uniform. Think UPS, but not UPS (did you know they wear brown socks with the UPS logo on them?). He’d been at his job for about a month and a half when he ended up working Labor Day; I had the day off and knew where he was. A few days later, I made the first post.

"I saw you at Kwik Trip and a few place on the southside on monday. i think you have big blue eyes (?), longish brown hair, and your a big sexxy guy.  You were wearing a xxxxs uniform. did you notice me? I tryed to catch your eye a few times. If you saw me or would like to chat, email me and tell me what I was wearing or where i can meet you for coffee"

I blacked out the name of the company, but in the posts I spelled it wrong.  I also forced myself to exhibit textbook examples of text speak, poor spelling, and terrible grammar.  Then I waited a day or two before texting him a message that I was reading Missed Connections again and I thought someone was talking about him.  He, of course, laughed it off.  Then he tried to tell me that it must be another guy from the same company.  Later, at home, he expressed his thoughts on how lame someone must be that they would post such a thing on the Internet after reading the post for himself.

The ladies at work all thought it was pretty funny.  We all chuckled about it and let it go.  Until  a few months later one night when I found myself unable to sleep.   He hadn’t really responded to the first one, so I needed to really do something to get his attention.

"Sexxy xxxs guy....I saw you again! Your the big sexxy guy I see at kwik trip and driven in my neighborhood. Do u beleive in fate? A lil cold to b wearen shorts, but I can warm you up in no time. U were on the phone. Hope it ain't your gf, because I want to meet u and see if everything is big. She doesn't have to know, I can be descrete. Email me if y see this...lets hook up. If not I will just see if i can fund u when your down the block and get u to cum to my house. Pleaze email me!"

The second message got quite the response.    Both from Craigslist users and the BF.  I received over 30 emails from users on Craigslist telling me that he obviously wasn't interested but they were.  I received emails from men offering themselves in his place, men willing to play delivery men, men claiming to be wearing sexier uniforms, and men telling me I sounded hot and they’d love the opportunity to knock on my door. 

The boyfriend?  Priceless.  I texted him to ask him if anything weird had happened the day before, and when he asked why I told him there was another post and I sent the message to him on his cell phone.  He came home that night and kept exclaiming what a weird loser this girl must be.  The icing on the cake, however, was when he came to visit me for lunch one day and told my favorite coworker (who knew) all about the unbalanced weirdo who was leaving creepy posts on Craigslist, and how he couldn't figure out why I thought it was so damn funny.

Months went by.  We cracked jokes about it here and there.  One of the BF’s former coworkers even went so far as to try and bet him that it was me.  He didn't think it was, and his coworker thought it had to be...luckily, he didn't take that bet.  December rolled around and we went Christmas shopping at the mall one day and the boyfriend decided to be a smart ass.  We were play bickering and then the conversation turned into something like this….

HIM:  You better be careful and be really nice to me.  I have options waiting for me on Craigslist.
ME: Yeah.  I’ve been thinking about that.  I think we should do like a Rent to Own thing.
HIM (looking startled, slightly concerned and a little butthurt): Uh……honey….I don’t think you understand how that works.
ME: Sure I do!  Those companies charge people more than the actual cost of an item and allow them to pay it off on a month to month basis or “rent” it until it is paid off.  If they default on the payments, the company takes the furniture back; if they make the payments then they get to keep it.
HIM: Yeah, they get to KEEP it.  You want someone else to keep me?
ME: No.  But I figure there’s no way she’d keep you until the end of the contract.  I mean, she might make it a week or two but once she figures out how much it costs to feed you she’ll send you back. It’s really pure profit.

The look on his face…I’m completely unable to describe it.  We went about our shopping, and the boyfriend was incredibly irritating all day (he really hates the mall, and letting me spend his money).  When we were leaving, there was a girl in the food court waving.  I didn't recognize her, so I looked behind me and I didn't see anyone there either.  He was snagging a sample from the Chinese food place and when he finally caught up to me I asked him if he knew the girl over there because she looked like she was waving at us.  Captain Obvious looked around and loudly said, “What girl? Where?”  I finally just told him to forget it because there was no way to direct his attention to her without being completely obvious (I’d have to point and practically poke her in the forehead-he is not very subtle or observant I’m afraid.)  This little moment spurred the last and final post.  AND I just HAD to say something sweet about myself! 

"I saw u at the mall tonight. You were holding hands with some girl...she was pretty.  I waived, but you didnt look. Dose she like girls? I was interested in getting you and seeing where it went, but the 3 of us could get together sometime...?  Hope your seeing this. Email me."

The truth came out shortly after Christmas when he couldn't figure out why I thought it was so funny and he was afraid I was going to think something was going on. Poor guy. I finally had to tell him. But up until this point, I haven’t confessed to his parents (though his sister might have told them that the obscene posts he told them about late one night was really me), or all of my Facebook friends. When I heard the Morning Show I usually listen to talking about this on the radio, I knew I had to write this and confess. So now you know...I'm a bad, bad girlfriend.

But nothing, NOTHING, beat the feeling of telling a new friend what I had done only to have her start screaming "OMG, You're the *Company Name* chick!  We read ALL of your posts!"  

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