My Firefox bookmarks toolbar is rigorous to-do checklist for procrastination. There’s Gmail that needs checking, Facebook that needs stalking, Woot! that needs wooting, and Twitter that needs tweeting. It’s a wonder that I manage to get it all done.
My bookmarks probably also say a lot about me: the person that I am, the things I’m interested in, where my priorities lie:
Note the rightmost bookmark, labeled “vicarious living”. I must here confess to you that I am a Craigslist Missed Connections addict. Hey, I hear that scoff. Don’t judge.
Just in case you don’t know about Missed Connections, it’s basically a section on Craigslist that allows people to post descriptions of chance encounters with mysterious strangers — in a coffeeshop, on the morning commute, at the post office — when they felt a compelling connection. Perhaps a smile was shared, or there was fleeting eye contact as the two strangers looked at each other, then away, then at each other again. Missed Connections gives them a place to try to find each other again if they find themselves thinking about that stranger and can’t quite let it go.
Oh, shut it. I like this stuff.
Jess over at Smiles in Easy Open Packages wrote last month about the delightful trashiness of Mills & Boon paperback romances. Wikipedia succinctly sums up every Mills & Boon story, ever, in just one sentence:
“Common themes are rich, ennobled and initially unattainable males (often of Mediterranean–especially Greek–origin), the desire of a character to have a baby (with this being thwarted by infertility or an unsympathetic husband), and the breakup and mending of a relationship.”
Wikipedia, “Mills & Boon”
If Mills & Boon allows little old ladies to live vicariously through personal assistant Sienna as she falls for her billionaire playboy boss Alexander Wentworth, CL Missed Connections is like the Mills & Boon of the Internet generation. And best of all, it’s real life.
Here’s why I love reading CL Missed Connections. Each cryptic three-line post offers a snapshot, a fleeting glimpse, into the life of an anonymous stranger, allowing me to see the world through their eyes if only for a few moments. Viewed rapidly, one after another, I think the posts form an endearing picture of humanity, filled with billions of individuals that are just bumping into each other trying to go about their daily lives and, once in a while, have a chance encounter that could possibly be something special.
Here are some of my favorite posts from last week:
Cute blonde girl that works at Cafe Intermezzo around lunchtime) – m4w – 21 (berkeley)
Thanks for mixing-in the extra dressing when I asked for an extra on the side. “That way you save some money!” I appreciate the financial advice. Good looking out — you must have a really good eye for poor college students. As it turns out, I was laid off from my job a couple weeks ago. So saving me that extra $1 might go a long way!!
You’re cute. And you also have a rad smile.
Pho Yoga girl ….. why were you eating alone ? – m4w – 26 (berkeley)
You were the very pretty girl in the lululemon top eating by yourself at Pho-Hoa in Berkeley.
I was the shy guy in the black sweater trying to catch your eye, but you were very into your newspaper.
Shucks! Hopefully you read this.
guy at the co-op party in berkeley – w4m – 28 (berkeley)
I was a greek goddess, and perhaps a little drunk… you were the “un-you” in a button-down shirt. We talked for 20 minutes in the hall during the party, and all my friends wanted to know why I didn’t give my number to “the cute guy.” I’d love to give it to you now… drop me a line?
Class Crush – m4w – 19 (berkeley)
So you are in my japanese history class and i noticed you day one, but the more and more i see you the more i would like to get to know you. Ive been making futile efforts to sit next to you for the past few weeks and succeeded twice (actually once you sat next to me it was exciting). For some reason i have a hard time saying anything around you, once i commented on our quirky professor consistently popped collars and today i ‘woke you up’ from your mid-class doze. I would love to talk to you sometime maybe over coffee, i hear thats what kids are doing these days. Anywho you probably wont read this so sucks to be me, maybe ill have to pluck up the courage to talk to you.
Cute, right? Read the latest Berkeley Missed Connections here, or bookmark your own city’s.