Mind the Gap: Love at First Sight On the 1 Train

Waiting on the platform = Waiting for Love?

A future President is about to be sworn in, his parents smile proudly from the audience, and we’re quickly sent on a journey back through the years to the beginning. A man stands on a platform in a train station. In an instant, he locks eyes with the woman surely destined to be the love of his life. The one problem? She’s on another train and it’s about to leave the station. He changes his ticket on his nifty smart phone and before the 30 second clip is over, he’s seated next to her on the train. Life happens.

So goes the  AT&T commercial that inevitably produces a sigh whenever I see it.

In the neat fantasy world of 30-second advertisements, instant connections made in Penn Station or the JFK terminal are never missed. In 30 seconds or less, everyone lives happily ever after.

In the real world, we need Craigslist. If our smart phone fails us on the platform, Craigslist offers us a second chance. Of course, the catch is that our missed connection has to log on and tune in to our broadcast. Isn’t there always a catch in the game of love?

About a year ago, I started reading “Missed Connections” every night before bed. There’s no secret hope that Mr. Right had spied me on the 1 train and tried to reach out through the interweb to find me. Rather, the habit stems from the same inner romantic who religiously peruses the Sunday NYTimes Wedding Announcements. I bask in the possibility that two people can find each other in unexpected places and at unexpected times. Stars collide. Life happens. The cynic in me loves the good giggle some posts inevitably inspire.

An MC post can take one of many guises. Sometimes it’s a digital catcall — a wooowooo directed at a leggy, busty blond walking past a guy on a street corner. Sometimes, it’s a desperate, if not beautiful, attempt at capturing a fleeting electric connection with another human being.

If I were to sit and do a survey, I’d say the number 1 location for a missed connection is the subway. The A train. The 1 line. The B, C, and F. Sometimes the 2/3. Perhaps, in a city like New York, that’s not a surprise. We New Yorkers spend as much time on the move as we do in our offices or out on the town — why shouldn’t we run into the loves of our lives on our morning commute? My parents met one morning in an elevator en route to their respective laboratories at University of Toronto. Perhaps my child’s parents will have met on the 6-train.

Connections are made. Connections are missed. Someone posts an add on Craigslist.

Life happens… in 30 seconds or less.

People passing in by in NYC's Grand Central Station. A missed connection every second
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7 thoughts on “Mind the Gap: Love at First Sight On the 1 Train

  1. There’s a similar section in a free inter-city newspaper in Sydney titled “He’s looking at you”. So many connections yet no-one does a darn thing.

    The possibility that two people can find each other in unexpected places and at unexpected times is great – there’s a huge romantic feel to this that I’m sure women love.

  2. Somehow this doesn’t translate as well to California. Looking for love on the 101 just doesn’t have the same ring. And Craigslist rideshare makes life stranger, not more romantic. I do read the missed connections daily. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  3. Looking for Love on the 101 does have a nice ring to it, it just won’t happen 😉 Unless, of course, you read a missed connection that says “to the girl in the green Honda who was either screaming in her car or possibly singing along to the radio.” Either way that’s probably me, and you should let me know ASAP. Thanks.

  4. megawfa79

    what if we had the ability to recognize how that stranger waiting for a train, fits into the cosmic puzzle, known as one’s life? It would eliminate all the coulda-woulda-shoulda in life. It also would make Life not so much fun.

  5. thenotsosilentspectator

    The thought of meeting someone on the subway (for you in new york) or for me in the Mumbai local trains (India) tops my list of romantic situations where you could meet someone, the others being a library or while walking down the streets of Mumbai amidst all the Gothic architecture.

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