Tamara Mataya is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a librarian, and a musician with synesthesia. Armed with a name tag and a thin veneer of credibility, she takes great delight in recommending books and shushing people. She puts the 'she' in TWSS and the B in LGBTQIA+.
It’s no big shock that the Missed Connections section on Craigslist features heavily into my novel, Missed Connections. For those of you unfamiliar with MC, it’s a place in the personals section of Craigslist where people post about moments they’ve shared with strangers. It’s like a personal ad, but way more specific because it’s about people you’ve actually been in contact with.
Did your eyes meet with the driver of a blue car while you were stopped at a red light?
Did you share a lingering stare with someone in the frozen foods section at a certain grocery store last Thursday?
Did someone buy you a drink but you lost their contact information and you want to track them down?
All these and more are the posts you’ll find in the posts. If you’re like the main character of my novel, Sarah, you’ll secretly hope to find one about yourself.
The posts are compelling because they’re real. They’re actual people out there in your city yearning to connect with someone they shared a minute, a smile, a glance with. It’s less of a shot in the dark than simply posting a personal ad, but unless you post and they read and you word it carefully enough, there’s not much chance of you connecting—never mind if they felt the same way and are single and looking for more.
I never found a post about myself and I feel a mixture of relief and disappointment about that. But maybe it’s because I’m pretty direct in my everyday life. If I like you, you’ll know it. I’ve never believed in making someone chase me until I decide to let them catch me—all that running sounds like a waste of energy that could be used in way more interesting ways together!
My candour means I try not to leave anything unsaid. That directness isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And sometimes it leaves me feeling like I’m missing out because others love that game but I just don’t get it.
I wrote a thing for someone once, a ramble they inspired that I never gave them.
So, to my own Missed Connection, wherever you are right now, here’s what I wrote you:
Gracefully and then…
Have you ever been positive that somebody wanted you? A confidence fueled by others’ assurance that there’s no fear of rejection.
And you believe they want you back.
You hear it in their voice, and see it in their eyes, and feel it in their touch. And then…
And then you tell them how you really feel, pretense and caution thrown aside, only to feel like they’re weighing their options before settling for you.
You’re shocked past the point of emotions. Anger, fear, hurt, and dizziness from thinking in circles fade away and expose the truth.
And then you realize that it doesn’t matter if they never say yes.
Because in reality, you were only settling for them because they said “no.”
I only wanted you because you were playing hard to get, but the difference is, now I’m going to be hard for you to find.
Maybe you won’t miss me. But I won’t miss that insecure version of myself I was when I was with you.
Missed Connection: I saw you standing there, and I was struck by your eyes. Gorgeous, but not as gorgeous as your smile.Thanks to her job at a crazy New Age spa, what should have been a sizzling NYC summer is being hijacked by demanding hippie bosses. To unwind, Sarah spends her nights cruising Missed Connections, dreaming of finding an uber-romantic entry all about her. Of course, the moment she finds that Missed Connection, real life comes crashing down around her in a night of unbridled passion with someone completely different: totally off-limits Jack.Best. Hookup. Ever.Gorgeous and wealthy, hot as sin, Jack can give Sarah everything she needs—except an emotional connection. That she gets from her Missed Connection, the romantic stranger who never fails to make her swoon. But there’s only so much of Sarah to go around. Torn between the bad boy she can’t keep and the sensitive stranger who bares his soul online, her heart and body are soon in two very different relationships…or are they?
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