25 years of Creative Loafing's 'Missed Connections'

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Oct. 1, 1988: To the WILD GIRLS on Jetton Street. Keep partying!! AND bag the neighbors!

Oct. 22, 1988: Seeking male with shoulder-length straight blonde hair wearing white/off-white shirt w/gray pants night of Fri. Sept 23rd at Club Detroit, St. Pete. (Night of "Steel Pulse" at Janus Landing and "Fanatics" and "Domino Theory") Is Important… a Weary Perceptionist

Nov. 5, 1988: Did anyone find my boyfriend at Guavaween? I lost him in a crowd of thin blonde women.

Feb. 3, 1990: J. Happy Anniversary. Where would we be without a 12-speed and Creative Loafing? You're the best thing that has ever happened to me! I love you S!

March 3, 1990: Lisa! Yes you. You were on a horse in the Gasparilla Parade and I threw you the beads. I want to see your incredible smile again! Kris...

July 7, 1990: Tampa Theatre Sunday Night — after last show of festival. WM (bearded, blond, w/two women) seeks WM (patterned shirt, khakis) who followed after hugging other man at exit. Our yellow cars were parked across from one another…

Oct. 27, 1990: WANTED-Elderly, Asthmatic, Unemployed Polish Dwarf. Please reply…

Sept. 14, 1995: Barnes & Noble Relationship Lecture. You sat near me. You are tall, slim, gray-haired WM, wearing a business suit. Left before we could talk, so please call.

July 27, 1995: Carolyn? Yucatan Liquor stand 6/28 Our eyes met, you danced the night away… I just admired. I prayed we’d meet again. On 7/14 my prayers came through. I sent you flowers. I hope I didn’t cause trouble.

March 7, 1996: Lone Rave Dancer, Label trasher. Cliques are lame. Ecstasy not X! I’m nice, shy, straight? Great, deep, dangerous, overused! You: straight-ish, beautiful, choosy, blonde, 18. It’s me, just ask BiWM.

March 28, 1996: Andre, of Hyde Park who blades on Bayshore. I missed your number you left. Would love to talk to you.

March 28, 1996: I made it snow for you on 3/19 around noon on Kennedy at computer store. You said thanks for the snow, you hadn’t seen it in a long time. If interested, let’s get together and talk about snow! Always could use another friend.

March 28, 1996: Searching for Chickman Dark, stallion car, accident + spine injury = wheelchair. Where are you? Long hair wicked Tony? Me: Raven, exotic, dark hair, midnight-eyes, always watching, ready to fly

July 4, 1996: Robert Latin look, Aries. We met at Impulses’s Foam Party. Me: Brazilian. Call me!

Aug. 29, 1996: Scott, I saw you at a foam party. I think you are all that and a bag of chips. Happy Birthday. Love from someone close.

Jan. 4, 1996: 12/21 AM, Tackle Shack, St. Pete. You: Tall guy, friendly, easy going, blue jacket. Me: tall gal, friendly, frazzled, denim jacket. Chatted at register, had Delaware in common. Been kicking myself for not getting vital statistics: single, name phone#. If unattached and interested, please call, so I can forgive myself.

Aug. 22, 1998: Gato Barbieri Concert! You, my "provisional date." We chatted and parted. Where was my head, you were magnificent? I didn't ask for a real date: next concert? Please.

Aug. 22, 1998: Angel at Green Iguana 7/13, Sat. I left my pin on your bike while you were in the cigar shop. Never saw you at party. I was late myself. I would really like to talk and find out if you are as beautiful on the inside as you’re out.

Oct. 29, 1998: Fletcher Hospital sandwich shop, Tues night, 10/20. I asked you to share your pizza. You said sure. Would like to talk to you again.

Nov. 5, 1998: Downtown River Jam, Curtis Hixon Park. Me: blonde, blue eyes and dress. You: tall, khakis, baseball cape. We: locked eyes, danced. You said sure. Meet me there again this week. Thursday night.

July 1999: ISO BRWF Episode 1 FAN who saw the 5/22 1pm, Hyde Park showing and sat in the aisle seat, four seats from me. Anakin searches for the princess.

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click to enlarge 25 years of Creative Loafing's 'Missed Connections' - SophieBlackall.com
25 years of Creative Loafing's 'Missed Connections'

click to enlarge 25 years of Creative Loafing's 'Missed Connections' - SophieBlackall.com
25 years of Creative Loafing's 'Missed Connections'
  • SophieBlackall.com

Those who have glimpsed love and lost it often resort to desperate measures in the search for "the one who got away." They need a way to throw their "message in a bottle" into the void. What changes is how these loveless optimists make their public pleas.

In the 1990s, the mode of choice for these reluctant lovers was to post messages in the personals ads of alternative weekly papers. In honor of Creative Loafing's 25th anniversary, I poured through decades of these messages to bring you some of the best.

The popularity of these ads peaked around 1996, before the rise of online dating sites and Craigslist—the current home for these "Missed Connections." These ads provide a glimpse of how our social habits, and even our clothing styles, have changed. Barnes & Noble repeatedly appeared in these messages, a mecca for shy singles searching for something, or someone, to occupy their time in a era when people still bought physical books from physical stores.

In many cases, the connections were based on little more than eye contact or a smile. While I doubt many of these public messages where ever answered, I wonder if these people's fundamental flaws were ever addressed. Did they ever learn that the slap of rejection is far easier to manage than months of wondering what would happen if they had seized the moment when they had the chance?

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