The eyes really do have it. I went through Craigslist’s Missed Connections for the last two months to see which keywords show up most often in each post. In the word cloud above, the biggest words are those that appear most often. You can have a closer look here.
The word “eyes” showed up more than any other — more than 40 times. People wrote about eye contact, making eyes and the lovely peepers of their missed connection. Smile — as both a verb and a noun — appeared in 34 posts. Hair topped the list of physical attributes mentioned — it came in up least 30 posts, generally used an identifier (I was the curly haired girl; you have red hair and bangs.) Glasses (16 times), tattoos (9), hoodies (9), dresses (6), beards (5) and beanie (5) were other top mentions. Ass came up four times; soup, three. The Oxford English Dictionary, date-rape, a speech impediment, compost and a centaur were all mentioned once.
Books and magazines came up nine times, while only four posts mentioned computers.
BART was the best place to get a missed connection; 15 of the posts mentioned it. Other sweet spots include 16th Street (11), Mission Street (11) and Valencia (8).
When you go into a café and everyone’s huddled over the computer, lots of them aren’t working — they’re posting missed connections. Philz, Sugarlump and Four Barrel tied for first with five posts each; there was also Summit (4), Tartine (4) and Ritual (3). Bars didn’t get as many mentions as cafes — maybe the alcohol helps people actually talk to each other? But bars did come up a lot — Amnesia four times, and three each for Benders, The Lex, El Rio and Pop’s.
After “BART,” “bike” was the second most mentioned transit word, figuring in 10 posts. The bus came up at least seven times, with the 22 getting twice as many mentions as the 49 or the 14.
As far as flattery goes, “cute” beat “beautiful” 31-17. Maybe because it’s a gender-neutral word? People’s love interests were also hot (10), gorgeous (9), adorable (6), attractive (6), Asian (5), sweet (3). Someone from Café Gratitude called their missed connection “rapture and adoring.”
And how were these mysterious posters feeling? Eighteen mentioned hope. Thirteen were shy. Seven were drunk (at least at the time of missing their connection), five were curious, four ridiculous.
And what did these lonely hearts want to do once they actually make their connection? Pretty predictable: get a drink (22) or some coffee (16).
As for my own quest…so far, no Missed Connections. But I did make two lovely actual connections today. One person struck up a conversation with me about my book in Philz. Another was someone I re-met at the Summit. Eye contact. Who knew?
Come back tomorrow — I’ve got a very San Francisco Missed Connection love story for you.