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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    A break full of ‘missed connections’

    Unsurprisingly, I didn’t do any of the things I said I would do over winter break. There was no Adderall in Nogales, Sonora, the Tucson release of “”There Will Be Blood”” was delayed, I chickened out before I burned my boyfriend’s Christmas tree and splashed holy water on it and I couldn’t eat in the reincarnation of Chen’s Café because it’s now a discount clothing store.

    I did look at a lot of “”Missed Connections”” ads, though, so I’d say the break went by pretty fast. That nonsense is terribly addictive in a voyeuristic way, but also depressing for its unabashed shallowness and the hopeful alienation it spawns. The commodity has exponentiated as of late, due to its inclusion on Craigslist and the myriad of specialty sites devoted to the practice.

    The catch is simple and alluring: if you saw someone but didn’t get to follow through with whatever it is their eye expressions or Coach bags told you about their love of adventure or relationship status or eyebrow waxing appointment this Tuesday, you can conveniently track them down on the Internet and simultaneously thrust yourself into online fame. I saw your face, in a crowded place, and I know exactly what to do. I’ll write my own Internet reality show and string along hundreds of local brunettes like myself who also visit Epic Café sometimes and talk about Hawaii.

    But it isn’t just my slightly masochistic longing to be the subject of one of these ads that compels me to read them. It’s their inherent “”matter-of-factness”” combined with charismatic storytelling that gets me.

    Take this Craigslist ad for example, written at 12:34 p.m. by pers-533144107, titled “”Cute Man in the Cheese Aisle at Safeway.”” (I left it unedited for further delight.)

    “”Me: sexy brown hair lady looking at shredded cheesee. you glanced at me and our eyes danced and played music . i dropped a a bag of rice in the juice aisle to try to get your attnention bu you just looked at me like i was mental. i am hoping to rekindle the fire that was lit in the store that day. if you are reading this, which i know you probably are, i would lilike to go dancing or snake wrestling with you. please respond. ormeet me e by the sausages at safeway this saturday at 3pm””

    Just riveting stuff, especially when you get to the snake wrestling part at the end. I almost thought it was a joke, but when I imagined the sacredness of two lovers meeting for a secret rendezvous in the sausage aisle, palms sweaty and shopping carts full of Juicy Juice, I decided I’d have to convert to atheism not to believe it.

    But while most bathe themselves in the emblematic symbols that make good non-fiction, a few border on the bizarre. For example, a snippet of “”Who are you voting for???”” in the woman for man section by pers-536707374:

    “”To the delicious man who engaged me in the political debate last nite, would love to see you again sometime, and show you my whole scar.””

    Is it just me, or do you read this and get the lingering impression that this woman wants to show a little more than just a scar; perhaps her self-inflicted fear of relationships and low-self esteem bordering on hypochondria, all precursors to a guilty and consequential fuck and then a razor blade while you’re sleeping.

    Many “”Missed Connections”” ads serve other qualities as well, besides stimulating the imagination and feeling bad about yourself because nobody noticed you at Wal-Mart. Sometimes you can get a good sense of the geography of your town, like in “”Sun Tran driver Broadway/Harrison noon,”” by pers-531472618.

    “”You were driving the #8 route on Monday around noon and we exchanged smiles…..saw you again as you were going back to the Laos Center.””

    What the hell is the Laos Center? Is it a bus stop or a shelter for war-torn refugees with infectious diseases? Sounds scary to me. Or look at “”Pet Smart on Grant/Swan”” by pers- 532637840. “”Saw you in the Petsmart on Monday, 1/7 and GOOD LORD are you one hunk of hot man!””

    That’s wonderful. I had no idea there was a Petsmart on Grant and Swan. Now I can go there and stock up on pig’s ears and freshwater fish. Heck yeah!

    But these vignettes aren’t all that they seem. Sometimes you have to slog through like ten generic ads reading “”I saw you at Cactus Moon. Our eyes met,”” or a few too many heinous love poems to get to the diamonds in the rough. And sometimes you just get tired of hearing about lustful people, when you yourself have been crying while you masturbate and pawing at the photo of that guy you took a bath with in preschool for like six weeks now. It’s depressing.

    You may think at first that the ads promote togetherness and true love at first sight, but when you look deep down you know in your pulsating breasts that they’re a scam. The hand of big business and the smarmy entrepreneur profiting from ad space or copywriting their idea or in some way using your personal loneliness as a money bag.

    And you know deep down that most of the people writing on there are losers and creeps anyway, because seriously who thinks about an encounter enough to write out an ad on the Internet like three hours later? They probably have a unibrow or something.

    Either way, it was still decent light reading. Time to hit the textbooks.

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