Old Town Courtney

A missed encounter secured through social media and a very public plea.

In case you missed this story from early in the New Year, it’s a doozy.

A woman named Courtney was out in Old Town Alexandria when she apparently met a wonderful, stellar, glorious male named Ben. Despite what must have been a magical encounter Ben and Courtney went off without securing each others’ digits. 

That’s where the story usually stops for anyone who’s gone out drinking and then forgotten to—or wussed out on—close the deal. In this case, the story gets interesting. Courtney was not content to let her romance go quietly into the night. Instead she plastered Old Town with fliersactual pieces of paper with her plea to the world and Ben and with her personal phone number. Courtney also took her search to Twitter under the appropriate hashtag #FindBen. Similarly, there she let Ben know how to find her and anyone else that she was searching for Ben and to send him to her.

After this massive manhunt, success happened. Courtney and Ben, based on the lady’s side of the tale, found each other. And just as quickly as the two became a local buzz, they extracted themselves from the spotlight.

Courtney took down her Twitter account. I tried reaching out to her via the phone number that was, just a week ago, boldly advertised to anyone with eyes. But nada. I was curious to know what made Ben just so rocking that she was willing to put herself out there to find him at all costs. Of course, I also wanted to see if they were still together or if the quest was sexier than the real relationship.

Perhaps we’ll never know. The question lingers: Was this adorable or a desperate move?

Mostly, the masses and the blogosphere, especially, seem to be on the side of mocking Courtney.

I’d certainly say it would have been easier to walk over to him on the night in question and suggest getting together another time. Oh, how much easier it would have been. Ultimately, though, Courtney got her man, so there must have been a (in the words of every “Bachelor” contestant) a connection. Who are we to judge?

PoPville’s take was to joke that this might become a trend. Gasp. Word has it that a North Carolina woman enchanted a man named George so much while the two were at Union Station that he posted a flier of his own trying to find the lucky lady, Lindsay. According to PoPville, so far George has come up empty.

The closest experience I had to all of these searching-after-the-fact fiascoes was when I met a man at a frat party in college. We hung out, never expecting to see each other again, I suppose. Mostly neither of us took the initiative to make future meetups happen. Then a few days later my inbox revealed Mike again. He used the power of the Interweb and the telephone—knowing the dorm in which I lived, my major and my first name—and managed to find me.

I was impressed. He pieced together clues as some sort of romantic detective. Had Mike conducted his search via fliers, would I have contacted him or been pleased by him trying to find me? Honestly, probably not. That would have been embarrassing and public and flashy.

As you mull over your position, the original person-tracker, Craigslist’s Missed Connections, still is the gold standard and worth perusing on most weekdays. Perhaps it’s next course of action for our lovestruck friend George.