Adventures on Gumtree: Missed connectionsSunday 23 August 2009, by Natasha
Ever wondered whether anyone actually sees or replies to one of those Missed Connections ads? We let one of our writers, Natasha, tell you all after finding herself being described in one such ad.
When I spent one Friday night drinking Brazilian cocktails and attempting to samba in Guanabara, the last thing I ever expected to see was a message aimed at me on Gumtree’s Missed Connections section.
The post title read: ‘Guanabara – Friday – Natalie’ (Ok, not quite my name but a close second). Very intrigued and a wee bit apprehensive, I read the short ad from the person (hereinafter referred to as Mr X). It said, “You’re a writer from South London, met you outside Guanabara on Friday night. I have something of yours.” Truth be told, I was slightly disappointed the message wasn’t juicier!
I debated for a whole three-and-a-half seconds before shooting off a quick, “You have what of mine?” reply. One day elapsed. The next day, I loaded up Hotmail and there it was! Mr X had replied, and golly-gosh it was an elaborate one.
To cut an extensive email short, Mr X expressed shock at his endeavour actually working, especially considering he had used the wrong name. He apologised for the unusual method of contact and how extremely contrite he was for the rowdy bunch of morons (I mean, his friends) who kept badgering me for my telephone number and my Facebook account. Mr X explained he had our little encounter on his mind for the rest of the weekend, that he found me “intriguing” and I came across as the sort of woman who appreciated an approach a little off the beaten track.
He gave me his name on Facebook and told me to add him. He didn’t ask for my number, but asked permission to write to me. If I liked it, then “maybe we could chat”. I felt a bit like Queen Victoria by this point, but I agreed. Two days later, I got a message from Mr X. His chosen piece of writing was less of an attempt at a piece of cleverly-written prose and more just a questionnaire – 10 pseudo-insightful questions he could Freud all over. I reluctantly filled them in. Since then, it’s been emails, emails and emails, although he did send me four free tickets to a BBC comedy show in Putney.
I found the whole experience quite flattering, with undertones of randomness. I’ve always been quite intrigued by Missed Connections and wondered if anybody had sought and found a specific person using the service. I do recommend more people use it; it’s free anyway. Plus, it’s an interesting story to tell the grandchildren. Or not.
If adventures begin and perpetual emails cease with Mr X, I’ll let you know.