I read the "Chance Meeting" ads, and have done so off and on since way back when I did that "Chance Meetings" comic strip for the Oni Press website. Part of it is I'm just curious to see some of the stories, and you never know, one might be useful one day for a story of my own.
I'll admit, too, I'm like everyone else. Who doesn't read them without at least a tiny little twinge of, "Maybe I'll see myself in there"?* Once there was an ad for one of the other employees at Trilogy Video and the other boys who worked there saw it, and we were mad. So much so, we never told the guy who it was for that he was in the paper. I have no idea if he ever saw it.
That's pretty messed up, I'm not going to pretend. It could have been the love of his life, he could be married with kids by now. Then again, knowing him, I doubt it. Plus, given that I was stopped at the local grocery yesterday by a former customer and she asked me, "Whatever happened that that other guy, the one all of us ladies liked to talk to," karma bites me on the ass again.
As messed up as that is, though, I think it's beat by what I saw in yesterday's Willamette Week.
For a couple of weeks now, they have been running this ad:
Fred Meyer, potting soil :)
Hey - Thanks for letting me go ahead of you. I had already decided to ask you out before I left the line, but by the time I doubled back, you were gone. This must be reconciled. If you respond, I'll invite you to meet up for a walk, let you know that I think you're cute, and insist, semi-awkwardly, that I reimburse you for bothering to respond to this ad!
Sure, he likely isn't doing himself any favors by being so nervous about it. If you're going to make up for chickening out in real life, then you might as well be gutsy when the face-to-face is off the decks. Still, not bad, kind of sweet, no reason to hate.
Yesterday, he got his response:
I may be the woman you're writing to if you mean the SE Freddies on Hawthorne. If so, you're probably far younger than I. You were cute; I was tired. Most likely you're seeking someone else."
Yeowch! He's getting the "I'm too old for you, you don't want me" turndown! I've gotten that before, and let me tell you something, even if it's meant to "let him down easy," it's a pretty annoying way to be refused. Even if it's true, it sounds like a cop-out, a bullshit "It's not you, it's me" line.**
In this case, though, if you're not interested, why respond at all? The beauty of taking a chance on a Chance Meeting ad is the person placing the ad never knows for sure that the person they seek ever saw the listing. No response doesn't mean you failed, it just means fate is not going to intervene this time and you can walk away maintaining the positive fantasy of what might have been. Not so for Mr. Potting Soil! Because the object of his desire had to be cruel and smack him down in public, turning his hopeful Prince Charming mission into a rejection.
Sorry, buddy, you mistook the Wicked Stepmother for Cinderella.
* Please, no one now go and put an ad in one of the Portland papers for me that says, "Hey, look, you finally made it!" It's a nice thought, but it wouldn't be the same thing, now, would it?
** I do realize that there is a reading of the woman's response that suggests she is equally as nervous as the man, and that she is not saying no, but instead refusing to believe it's her. My first reaction was that she was giving him the brush-off, and I am sticking to that.
Current Soundtrack: The Roots, Rising Down
Current Mood: nauseated
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All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich