A Missed Connection Success Story
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
There's a neighborhood in D.C. that's pretty near NPR - it's walkable - the kind of area with flyers on lamp posts looking for a lost cat or selling a used couch. And the other day, we spotted something a little different, kind of old-school. Steven Mion was looking for someone - someone he thought he felt a spark with after they shared a ride on Halloween night. He came into the studio. And I made him read the flyer he posted in the neighborhood out loud.
STEVEN MION: Missed connection - if you went as a low-effort lumberjack on a Saturday on Halloween weekend, hi. I'm the Pennywise who you shared that Uber home with at 3 a.m. And we realized that we both live roughly on the corner of First and Adams. Honestly, I thought you were really cute, and I sort of regret not asking for your number. Though, to be fair, I was dressed as a demon clown so not my most attractive moment. Do you want to grab coffee? I gave him a couple of options to respond. So the options he could take were - well, sure. Why not? I'd love to. And then I listed my phone number on that one. No, thanks. But thanks for asking. Have a nice day.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: No phone number, I'm assuming.
MION: No phone number on that one at all. I can take the rejection. Ew (ph), no. This is weird. Who posts things like that? Just go on Tinder - because, honestly, that might be one of my responses if I were to see this flyer. So I gave them the option to respond that way, as well. And I wanted to give the community a chance to respond also. So the last option says, wrong person, dude. I'm just some random person who lives here, but good luck though.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why did you decide to go analog? It seems pretty old-fashion to put up a flyer, I got to say.
MION: To be honest, the new fashioned ways of dating are just a little bit exhausting. There are so many, so many apps with so many different options. And you're just put into a giant pool full of so many other people who are judging all of your flaws. And if your profile is not perfect, it's an immediate swipe the wrong direction. And I do the same thing when I'm on those apps. And it's just so hard to meet people in person. At the end of the day, I just want to try something different.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. So we brought you in because we wanted to help you make a connection. But our producer that brought us this story got an email from you last night. And the person contacted you, and they decided to come in with you. And we're going to bring them in right now.
ROBERT DEALY: Hello.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hello. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Tell us your name.
DEALY: My name is Robby (ph).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Robby. OK, Robby, pick up the story. When did you hear about the flyer or see it?
DEALY: Well, one of my housemates that lives in the area sent a Snapchat to me and went, you are the lumberjack.
DEALY: And it was an incredible realization because there is no other Uber in the world that had the Pennywise and the lumberjack. There's absolutely no doubt about it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And here we are. And we should say that you are straight. And you told him that, right?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So this was a missed love connection, but...
DEALY: As the sign identified. It was a missed connection for a host of reasons. But the fact that we're here right now means it was not in vain.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I wanted to ask you both, you know, you were talking about how hard it is - swipe left, swipe right - you know, to find that human touch. The spark that comes with meeting real people in the real world, I guess, is important.
DEALY: The thing that I find so funny is I've been telling this story almost every day because it was just so silly and innocent but also really wholesome. And when it happened to me, I went, you know what? I got to reach out because they put in the effort. They put in the time to this. And you don't see that very often anymore, especially in this digital, somewhat degrading dating world that we're living in.
MION: I'm glad to hear that you appreciated that, too, because I like the idea of a genuine connection that you kind of get in person. I think that we live in a city where a lot of people really make connections for self-serving reasons. And I like the idea of kind of breaking out of that box and putting yourself out there in different ways. You might be able to make a connection that is just genuinely to meet someone else.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Not all connections are love connections. There you go.
MION: Yet another great love story ruined by heterosexuality. There are many.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go. And on that note, thank you both so much for coming in and cheering us up.
DEALY: Oh, thank you.
MION: Thank you for having us.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOUR LOVE IS MY DRUG")
KE$HA: (Singing) I just can't get you off my mind because your love, your love, your love is my drug.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was Steven Mion and Robin Dealy. And if you want help with your missed connection, email us a voice memo with your story. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.