I don’t think you noticed me falling in love with you: “Missed Connections” by Sophie Blackall

You were so into your book, I don’t think you noticed me falling in love with you.

Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found by Sophie Blackall
128 pages, Workman Publishing, August 2011
Illustrations

I honestly have to say I don’t know how to categorize this book. It’s not just illustrations. There’s text, too. It doesn’t fit in any category I know of.

Sophie Blackall is a children’s book illustrator who became enamored with the mystery and romance in the missed connections in the paper (or on Craig’s List, or wherever else you might get your missed connections…well, if you do, indeed, get your missed connections anywhere, I suppose.) 

I’m going to assume you’ve all read these, at least once or twice. I’m not saying you’ve read them hoping to find yourself there, and someone longing to have missed you…but I’m not NOT saying that, either. They’re also just kind of fun to read, aren’t they? And there is a little poetry in them. Here’s a random one from our local Craig’s List today: We locked eyes exchanged smiles and man you were beautiful. I doubt you’ll check this but if you do please respond with what store we first saw each other at and what I was doing. I don’t know. I find these kind of wistful and throwing hope out into the void, or something. And I’m glad Blackall did, too…because this is a lovely little book.

Her illustrations are beautiful and hopeful and sweet without being cloying, kind of quirky in a twisted whimsical way. And she picks the best of the missed connections…the ones with the most poetry in them, the most love and loss and mystery and wonder. There are people who have locked eyes on the train, there are people who have met once over a glorious sandy summer and lost touch, there are people who spent the night dancing and lost phone numbers from their hands on the walk home. All of them hoping to connect. All of them hoping that the person they had that one, magical moment with was the one they wanted to spend a million more moments with…to spend Harry and Sally’s “for as long as we both shall live” with.

We’re eternally hopeful creatures, aren’t we? It’s one of our more endearing qualities. We see someone across a crowded room and we think, “maybe” and we think “forever” and we infer, from the toss of her hair or the slow way he smiles, that they were there just for us, that night. That there’s magic in the air. That, if only we can find them again, we can be happy.

It’s all we really want, right? That happiness. That forever. That one-enchanted-evening person.

Don’t worry. I won’t judge you for thinking it. I still think it’s out there, too. That magic. I like that Blackall understood that. It was like reading a book from a friend. A friend who illustrated the beautiful, half-wild, fairy-tale people in my mind – and those are the people I fall in love with every day.

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4 comments

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I got this book for my sister a few years ago, because it made me so happy. There’s also — and this made me happy oftener, because I saw it all the time! — a piece of Sophie Blackall’s art hung up in some of the subway trains in New York. They do this thing where they put art on the subway to cheer you up, and it totally works. 🙂

    • lucysfootball

      That WOULD cheer me up! I also read somewhere they did a meetup in Grand Central Station of missed-connection people in relation to this book being released – how wonderful is that? I hope people found what they missed! (I love subway art. And subway poetry. I love beautiful things in unexpected places. One of my most favorite things in the world.)

    • lucysfootball

      You’ll love the artwork in this one. Her childrens’ books might be worth hunting down, too – if the story’s as good as the art, they might be keepers!

      I think you’d get a kick out of the Missed Connections. Some of them are a little creepy, though. “I saw you on the train and then I followed you home but you seemed scared DON’T BE SCARED I LOVE YOU.” (OK, I made that up, but similar sorts of weirdness.)

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