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Farewell, old friend

January 20, 2010

Dear Craigslist Missed Connections,

Where do I begin? We’ve had such a lovely time together. You’ve made me laugh when I was down, gave me hope when I wanted to stop believing in the longshot…you’ve been a source of endless amusement for me and brought a smile to my face. Thank you for that.

We’ve been together for a long time. I remember first meeting your print equivalent in the Boulder Daily Camera, back in my youth, before I became a cynical adult. Even though the postings were few in number, I loved the idea of having a second chance after a passing glance with a stranger. Years later, I found Craigslist, and subsequently, you. It’s been at least 6 years or so…a pretty good run, in my book. I’m sorry, but it has to end.

I started reading you with the hope that someday I’d see myself in your plain text. Any mention of curly hair or a short girl and I was all over that. In the back of my mind, however, I knew that I would never recognize myself in you. I’ve never seen a post that I knew was me, whether it was in New Jersey or here in New York. I know I’m not the kind of girl to be eyeing people on the train or on the street. Nobody will ever post a missed connection with me because I’m not out there trying to make it happen. It’s OK, I came to terms with that long ago. I still kept up with you though. I’ve found postings about my friends, and postings from my friends. It’s always made for a good story, even if I was only tangentially involved. I savored that part of you, the voyeurism involved in reading about other people’s chance encounters. It’s the same reason I love hearing people’s “how we met” stories, even if they’re mundane. It’s a chance to relive those thrilling days in the beginning of what might become a relationship or what might fizzle out soon enough. The uncertainty, the optimism; I love it all.

I wish I could feed you the line, “It’s not you, it’s me.” But that would be a lie. I’m still the nosy, voyeuristic girl that I always was. You, however, have become a different animal. Now your pages are filled with vitriol spewed between exes and misguided posters who would be better served in Casual Encounters. Even after sifting through the rants and penis pictures, your posts are no longer the sweet odes to the girls glancing shyly with their blue eyes. No, it’s now dedicated to the girl on the train with the “fat booty and nice jugs” or the baristas at the Astor Place Starbucks. Now, I can appreciate a woman blessed with an ample derriere and striking decolletage as much as the next person, but where is the romance in such straightforwardness? Where is the false modesty that comes with the thrill of a budding connection? And if you know where someone works, that’s not really a missed connection, is it? After all, you know where that person will be roughly 40 hours of their week. With the right amount of testicular fortitude, there’s no need to make a Craigslist post about it.

You’ve changed, Missed Connections. I no longer receive my daily dose of starry-eyed romance from you; instead I experience frustration with the average New York City male (or at least the average NYC male who posts on Missed Connections). Every once in a while I find the romantic gems that were once abundant, but I just don’t have the spirit to continue foraging through the flotsam anymore. Therefore, I must say goodbye. The internet has so many other ways for me to waste my time; I can no longer spend that time on you.

I might be by for a visit on late nights when I’ve exhausted my possibilities and feel as if I’ve seen the internet in its entirety, but please don’t wait for me. You’ve become a bad habit. I know it will be difficult to break, but I have to do it for my sanity. For you. I know you might not believe me right now, but it’s better this way. You’ll always have a piece of my heart, if not my screen.

Love always,

Mandy

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