True Life: I was ghosted by a Missed Connection.
Yes, this is exactly what you think it is, if you're aware of seeking love interests on Craigslist.
Let me tell you a little about myself: I'm 28 years old, just moved back to New York City a few months ago, and I don't want any form of commitment at the moment. But the truth (that I'm actively avoiding) is that I'm actually a hopeless romantic and a female who has a fertility time clock furiously ticking so I actually do want all of those things. The time consuming frustration of commitment, the I-want-to-wake-up-next-to-you-every-morning kind of infatuation, the gaze into each other's eyes in public for prolonged periods of time kind of love, the real deal. Let's just say I want all of those things to happen the moment I arrive back from traveling this spring, but there are a few exceptions, such as beautiful men riding the subway that take advantage of my weakness for nose rings and my inability to make logistical decisions pre-caffeine. Sooo.. that happened.
I was riding the train to work on a Thursday morning. It was the morning after a disastrous date, the kind of date where I consumed way too much alcohol to allow the evening to pass with more ease, and I probably smelled like it. My hair was tossed up in a messy morning-after bun and my body was squished under layers of sweaters and coats so I could sweat out the gin and whiskey that I was still feeling from the night before. I was playing either Neko Atsume or 1010! on my phone, because focusing on Henry Miller was a little too much for that commute. It was a stop or two before Rockefeller Center and I looked up to see where the train was stopped. Then I saw him.
It's like the dating gods had ever so slyly placed him there to send me a glimmer of hope after the disaster I had just encountered the night before. He was standing by the door. Olive green jacket, shaggy brown hair, a little scruff on his face, and a nose ring. A NOSE RING. I DIE. If you couldn't tell by my excitement, HE WAS SO MY TYPE. He looked tall-ish, fit-ish (from what I assumed because his coat was about 2.5 times puffier than mine), and I knew he had to be in some sort of creative field, or that he at least liked good music. I felt courage creeping into my system, suddenly replacing the nausea and headache.
Here's another thing you need to know about me: I'm pretty sure I missed the chance of meeting the love of my life. TWICE. I have two different soulmates that had crossed my path before on the M train going uptown on a weekday morning. Two different husbands just wandering around New York City. I wasn't going to risk losing another. I got up to get off at my stop. I had been practicing for weeks - telling strangers on the street that they were attractive - in a subtle catcall format. I knew I could do it. I was going to hit on a super attractive stranger on the train.
Here's the play by play:
[SETTING: The M train, going uptown on a Thursday morning in early March, stops at Rockefeller Center. ATTRACTIVE MALE proceeds to step off the train, HOPELESSLY ROMANTIC FEMALE follows close behind. The two of them scurry up the stairs and through the turnstile. AM starts to pull away because he has long legs. HRF starts to skip because she has short legs. Eventually she reached him, taps on his right arm. He has headphones on, but turns around and removes them. AM looks at HRF with slight confusion.]
HRF: "Hi... I like your nosering."
AM: "Oh, thank you"
HRF: "I actually got my nose pierced too, and I want a hoop in mine so you inspired me to go ahead and do that."
[AM leans over to look at nose ring, nods head]
AM: "Ah, yes"
HRF: "Anyway, I'm Sarah."
AM: "I'm ATTRACTIVE MALE." (Name changed due to humiliation on hopelessly romantic female's end)
[They shake hands]
HRF: "Nice to meet you!"
AM: "Good to meet you."
HRF: "Well, I think you're really cute. Have a good day!"
[AM smiles and blushes]
AM: "thank you"
[HRF quickly turns around and runs away, disappears behind revolving doors.]
So there was that. I was so close. And then I turned into a little bitch and ran away.
I got to work and told my coworkers, Alyssa and Angela, about my moments of courage - I was actually pretty stoked that I had the balls to say something, then they were all like "Uh, you didn't give him your number?"
Serious thing you need to know about me #3: I am a tried and true believer in fate. I'm also an avid reader of Missed Connections on Craigslist and obviously scrolling through the personal ads and seeing something that could have been about me was pretty high up there on the bucket list. Now, I have never intentionally gone out of my way to mysteriously gaze at a man on a street corner or have purposely had a couple drinks with an unknown suitor only to disappear like a sultry vixen, but I've thought about it. 'Cause the latter would be super badass. But honestly, I scroll through Missed Connections on a weekly basis.. to make myself feel normal, I think (most of the posts are odd, mysterious, and perverted).
While I thought I totally missed my chance with ATTRACTIVE MALE, my mind immediately went to Missed Connections. I had the tab up all day and refreshed whenever I had a little down time.
Attractive young lady too lost in her thoughts... - m4w
5th Ave. Knockout - m4w (Midtown)
Anybody Wanna Get Married? - m4w 31 (Midtown)
Not a shot in hell, I thought, nobody posts on this shit. I left work that evening with enough to completely distract me from my failure to put myself out there a little further beyond my comfort zone. $4 frozen margaritas, seeing an old friend play a really good set in the LES, and watching my friend Alyssa fall in love with a man from France were plenty to keep me occupied.
I woke up the next day ready to take on Friday like a boss - I wasn't hungover at all, a massive difference from the morning before, and I had an adventurous weekend ahead of me. I was distracted all day... until about 5pm. My coworkers and I were getting ready to leave work to head to a going away dinner together, and I casually thought, "I haven't checked Missed Connections today!".
So I checked. I quickly scrolled down through the posts of March 4th.
You saw me drawing you on the Q train Friday night - m4w (Brooklyn)
Friendly banter (and beautiful eyes) on the F train - m4w (F train in Park Slope)
aww, but no. starting to get bored/give up here.
Sarah - nose ring - m4w (Midtown)
WHAT THE FUCK.
Sarah stands up.
Sarah tosses desk chair. (not really)
Sarah starts yelling things like: "WTF?" "OMG it's HIM!" "Who did this?!" "SOMEBODY is totally fucking with me!!"
This reaction goes on for about 30 seconds until Alyssa and Angela run into the office equally as panicked and confused - just try to picture this in a whirlwind of confused what the fucks. I look at everyone feeling like a ravenous dog on a chain of emotion pointing fingers of accusations, but everyone plays it off pretty well. They read the post on CL too, and seem shocked themselves. I sent him e-mail right away, and over a couple of hours, we had a promising dialogue going:
HRF: My coworkers are totally fucking with me. What's your name?
AM: You should know!
HRF: What's your number
AM: What's my name?
HRF: I know your name! Angela you're a cunt
AM: I'm so confused. Did you or did you not tell me you liked my nose ring? And do you have a nose ring? And who is Angela?
HEF: Yes and yes. Ang is my coworker who was acting hella suspicious.. you're ATTRACTIVE MALE (I think)
HRF: Okay to clear the confusion. I'm a pretty tiny brunette girl and my nose ring was a stud and I told you I wanted it to heal so I could put a hoop in. And I thought you were (obviously) really cute and went to work and told my coworkers and they were like "it's a missed connection" so here I am. eliminate confusion/angela the cunt. So I'm Sarah and hi
AM: I'm am ATTRACTIVE MALE! Holy shit this actually worked?
[He immediately sent his phone number via e-mail and the conversation continues through text. At this point I'm at a bar with Angela and Alyssa, back in the Lower East Side. They're conversing with two other guys (who look basic af) and I'm literally sitting on the floor between everyone in complete shock]
HRF: ATTRACTIVE MALE.
HRF: shut the fuck up
AM: I love the internet.
HRF: it totally worked!!
HRF: God bless
HRF: this is so weird but the best thing ever too
AM: So weird. I don't even know what to think right now. I never thought this would actually work.
AM: Now we have to go on a date.
[HRF almost faints, grabs beer that basic men bought her and takes sips, still seated on the floor.]
HRF: only if you're asking
HRF: I still don't believe it's you to be honest
AM: I was wearing headphones. Someone tapped my armed. I turned around. You said you had your nose pierced and that you thought about getting and hoop or something. I don't remember exactly because I was so baffled because strangers never talk to me. Then you said I was cute and that your name was Sarah. I said my name was ATTRACTIVE MALE. We shook hands and you walked away.
HRF: I actually skipped/trotted
AM: Hahahah I had no idea where you came from. I was like how did this girl see my nose ring? I was just so impressed that you approached me.
HRF: Yeah I saw you on the train and promised myself i'd say something for obvious reasons and then I stopped thinking and I barfed compliments all over you
[Sarah is leaving bar, builds liquid courage/decides that calling him would be a good idea because 1) to make sure it's really him and 2) texting is stupid. AM does not answer.]
HRF: also given that I'm clearly a direct person, that call was on purpose
We end up leaving the bar and going to a party out in Brooklyn followed by another bar until closing time. It was a great night, and I didn't feel awful in the morning (again!). I'm really trying to avoid hangovers these days.
Anyway, here's the tricky part. Well, it's not very tricky - you know what happens next. Nothing happens. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I was busy that Saturday, but not too busy to avoid thinking about ATTRACTIVE MALE and the bogus situation that was turning out to be my life. I texted Alyssa and Angela about the lack of response and they told me that I should just text him again because, hm, nothing to lose here. so:
HRF: so did you ask me on a date last night? because i'd like to say yes
NOTHING. I've been ghosted.
Why would one go to the extent of posting on Craigslist only to vanish into digital thin air? How does one simply ignore fate? The heavens parting? The stars aligning? Why would somebody want to throw away the most epic wedding speech ever?
We totally would have had beautiful, artistic, nose pierced children, James.