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What Craigslist taught us about love in 2013
From enemas to SantaCon, love was all around us
 
Nothing says love like holiday debauchery.
Nothing says love like holiday debauchery. (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Love is a fickle, illusive sensation. The spark of a connection between two people can occur over a candlelit dinner, a stroll under the stars, or when one accidentally relieves himself on the other. Yes, for one lucky lady in Bloomington, Indiana, 2014 began with a sweet-yet-urine-filled Craigslist Missed Connection.

We heard the countdown starting and decided to stay outside. I started to cry and you kissed me, and then we started to make out. After a minute I felt something warm and realized that you pissed yourself. [Craigslist]

But the heart wants what the heart wants!

I pushed you away and that's when you ran but I wish you had stayed. You peed on me but it's OK! I just want to know who you are! Please reply and when you do tell me why I started crying so I know it's you — if you remember. [Craigslist]

So, it's not exactly Love, Actually, but if we've learned anything from the Craigslist Missed Connections of 2013, it's that love strikes in unusual places (to say the very least). Here are the best Missed Connections and what we've learned from them in 2013.

Spontaneity at SantaCon - w4m

I was the girl with the three foot long santa hat who yelled "Hey, you wanna make out?" and you were Eric and said, "Me? Sure!"

Thanks for going along with it! It might ruin the perfect moment of spontaneity but I wouldn't hate getting to know you better because you were sweet and very cute. [Craigslist via Gothamist]

For those unacquainted with New York City's glorious tradition of SantaCon, you're probably wondering why this young woman posted about wearing a three foot-long Santa hat and asking a random passerby on the street "Hey, you wanna make out?" This is actually totally normal protocol for the drunken festivities of SantaCon and isn't even the most risqué moment from it.

Takeaway: Why have a fleeting bit of make out fun when you could potentially have a lifetime? It is worth risking "the perfect moment of spontaneity."

New York Academy of Art Christmas Soiree – m4m

You: Tall, blonde hair, handsome

Me: Tall, black hair, naked and festively painted.

I winked at you from high atop my pedestal. [Craiglist via ArtInfo]

This Missed Connection may seem strange but the New York Academy of Art Christmas Soiree features models painted to look like statues. Sure, meeting someone when your body is "festively painted" — Christmas trees? Red-nosed reindeers? — is usually not the way to put your best foot (or any body part) forward. That being said, give major props to the poster for making a flirty move in a situation with little wiggle room.

Takeaway: This is the true beauty of Missed Connections! The post expresses everything we can't convey in the moment, whether we're overcome with emotion or forced to remain silent because we're painted to resemble human statutes.

You gave me an enema this morning - m4m

You commented on my erection and the tattoo on my dick. If you would like to see it again, tell what the tattoo is. [Craigslist via Columbus Alive]

From what I have heard, enemas are not remotely pleasant physical experience. The fact that guy who posted this was so turned on during one clearly indicates a strong romantic spark (or super high pain threshold). The sexual chemistry is too much to ignore.

Takeaway: The poster has the best way to verify that the true enema-giver's identity, which is always critical in posting a Missed Connection. Your name or clothes are always open to lucky guesses, but a tattoo on your penis is really specific, so I think there's hope these two will find each other.

Grinding during RKelly – m4w

Hey we were grinding during RKelly but at the end your friends came up, a guy with long hair and a mustache, and a girl with thick braids and big ass gold earrings, and we lost each other. I didn't get your name. I was the tall slightly bearded dude with very defined arm muscles and a dolphin tattoo, wearing the backpack with a hydration system, keepin you from gettin thirsty, girl! Haha I almost got you pregnant! Hit me up, tell me what kind of crop top you was wearing so I know it was you. Damn I wish I got your Facebook or twitter handle. [Craigslist via The Gloss]

This is a meet-cute if there ever were one! This post was from the Pitchfork festival in Chicago, so of course this is from a "slightly bearded dude." When a guy jokes about almost getting you pregnant from dancing to R. Kelly, it's usually time to run onto Yo La Tengo. But, he does have a backpack hydration system, and nothing says sexy like a Camelbak.

Takeaway: If only Missed Connections had existed during Woodstock! Oh, the romance! Seriously, this is a lesson in working with whatever details you can muster when you don't have penis tattoos as available marking. What kind of crop top (because there are apparently multiple types) is a weak second, but good for the poster for the attempt. If anything, Missed Connections shows us the persistence of love.

Grand Central - November 1973 – m4w

In the fall of 1973 I was studying as a freshman at NYU, and after failing to make my initial train home to Maine, I was rushing through Grand Central on the evening before Thanksgiving 1973 when I spotted you, emerging from one of the railways, with a look of utter confusion on your face. You had the blondest hair I had ever seen, and a plaid dress. I had never seen a plaid dress before.

When I confessed that I purposefully missed my train to keep talking to you, you smiled slyly and said "well I guess it's only fair that I miss my bus." With no money for a cab, we walked to my Lower East Side dorm room, which was deserted aside from my German classmate Franklin, who kindly gave us a half-finished bottle of red wine.

We made love that night, and in the morning coached one another through shaky phone calls to our angry relatives back home. With the November cold turning the night's rain into a dreary wintery mix, we stayed in bed all day, sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes, discussing politics and philosophy. You told me you had never felt "so New York before."

I have been married twice since then - once divorced, and once widowed. I have had a successful career as an English professor, and am a proud father. My life has known its share of triumphs and heartaches, of love and loss. Against my better judgement, I haven't forgotten that day - and, at least once a year, while mowing the lawn, or reading a newspaper, the details come back to me.

Perhaps, if life's strange circumstances can permit it, we can have a second drink. [Craigslist via Reddit]

This one is pretty heavy (and what is posted isn't even the full version). It may be the quintessential Missed Connection, a solid four decades in the making. Sure, some cynics may cry BS since the poster claims to be an English professor but has a questionable spelling of the word "judgment." But call me an old softie: I sense the yearning and wonder for what could have been. It's not overly dramatic or regretful. The poster has clearly had a full life, but has always just been a little curious about the person with which he shared a relatively few intense moments. Who couldn't empathize with that romantic curiosity?

Takeaway: It doesn't matter that forty years has passed. Missed Connections offers that faint bit of hope that maybe you can reconnect with that person or at least confirm that he or she is still out there. Somewhere, Ellie Goulding's "Anything Could Happen" is playing, and maybe that person has stumbled upon this Craigslist evidence of your existence and wants to find you, too. That is the best of love in 2013.

 
Emily Shire is chief researcher for The Week magazine. She has written about pop culture, religion, and women and gender issues at publications including Slate, The Forward, and Jewcy.

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