Missed Connection

Posted on April 30, 2012

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This story is from Stephanie, a 24-year-old office manager in NYC, as told to Raz:

It was my average terrible commute to work. The 4/5 train was so crowded that I was shoved up against the door. But I decided to make the best of it, cranking up the volume on my iPod and silently rocking out to my music while being elbowed into the side of the train. Then I saw this guy. He was super cute with a red beanie on, equally crammed against the opposite door and looking equally foolish as he nodded to his music.

It just so happens that flirting on the subway is one of my favorite activities. After all, it gives me a nice burst of confidence without the risk of emotional baggage. When I looked at him and smiled, he smiled right back. We were on.

A couple stops later, we were full on mouthing words to each other.

“What stop?” I asked.

“This one,” he responded as the train came to a halt.

My stop was the one after his, and even if I’d wanted to chase him out the door, I would’ve had to trample about twenty people to do it. I let the mysterious stranger go. As he walked away, he glanced back at me through the window and waved. “Goodbye,” he mouthed.

I spent the workday fantasizing about a relationship with the man in the red beanie, and when I got home that night, I instantly recounted the tale to my roommate. Ever a romantic, she seemed more heartbroken than I was that I’d let him get away.

“You have to write a missed connection on Craigslist!” she said, grabbing her laptop to pull up the site. Why not? I sat down next to her.

We wrote: “It was rush hour on a crowded 4/5. You were across the train against the door. I was listening to my headphones, you were listening to yours. I liked your hat.”

The response emails came almost immediately. Tons of them.

“It was me in my construction hat!” Wrote one.

“I was wearing a Bears hat. Do you like football?” Wrote another.

Did all these people really have similar experiences or were they just creepers?
Then a few days later, this was in my inbox: “I remember you. You had brown hair and you were wearing headphones. I wondered what you were listening to. And thanks, it’s my favorite red beanie.”

I was shocked! It was him! I emailed him back immediately, and we decided to meet up for coffee. It was him alright, but as soon as we started talking I knew he was all wrong for me—we had nothing in common, and he was dumb as rocks. But he was my missed connections guy! The romantic in me won out, and we went out a second time and then a third.

It was New Years Eve when things finally got physical. We met up at a bar, and then headed back to his place.  We hooked up in his room, and then he just got up and walked out. I thought he’d gone to the bathroom, but when he didn’t come back after ten minutes, I searched the apartment. He wasn’t there. Who just leaves a girl in their bed without saying anything?

It was 5am by this point, so I left. In the cab, I got a call. It was him. “Oh, I went to breakfast,” he said.

This kind of spacey behavior was typical. But the worst part? I kept dating him after that. For months. It never got better. I guess the moral of the story is: A romantic meeting doesn’t make for a good relationship. Connection does. It’s all about the connection.

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