"The Saddest Map in America"


Weird. In New York it's "subway" but in Washington it's "bus".

It's so inexplicable. What is the special fascination that the bus holds in Washington? There must be some explanation for the differences in lifestyle and temperament that make bus rise above subway for those in the Pacific Northwest. There must be something that explains why New Yorkers miss connections on the subway more than Seattleites. Some cause. But what could it be?

I am stumped! Why? Why? Why?
I've been trying to figure out Indiana. Are these all people staring out their front windows, hoping for love?
Schmader, you idiot, it means the bus is the place where people people most often see attractive strangers, yet feel (with reason) that advances would be regarded as inappropriate.

What we should be wondering is what the hell is wrong with people in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Utah.
We're super intellectual in Utah! College Campuses! BOOM!

Oh wait, it's because our average age of marriage is a whole hell of a lot lower than the rest of the country. Return from mission, then get married and start a family before you're out of college. Otherwise you'll be some old spinster! That's how you do it.
Note too that Illinois and New York are both "Train": I guarantee you that is about the El/CTA/Metra in Chicago, and the NYC subway/LIRR systems. The vast majority of New York State and Illinois is farmland without trains, but the majority of people and CL posters will be in the metro areas. I'd love to see this map re-done over the recent map that divided the US into 50 equally sized (and demographically aligned) states. You'd see a lot more WalMart in Illinois. Also, note Wisconsin: Bars. I love Wisconsin. Also also note: WA has the highest percentage of women seeking men. Fucking too-polite-to-flirt Seattle men. Losers.
Hmm, my state is "parks." I guess I kind of like that. Get out in that fresh air fellow Marylanders.

Oh wow, I just noted the solid block of "Wal-Mart" that is the south. Shit.

Yay Dorothy! She was in the next dorm over from me freshman year. I remember when her comic Cat & Girl started on light poles and bulletin boards.
I think there is a great deal of information on this map (and therefore find it fascinating.) But I don't think it tells us as much about the romantic cultures of each state as much as the kinds of public spaces that they tend to occupy in each place.

People in Seattle and Portland spend a lot of time on the bus. People in Atlanta spend a lot of time in their cars. People in the NE corridor and Chicago spend a lot of time on the trains. There is a robust neighborhood tavern culture in Wisconsin.

And most of Red America spends a LOT of time at WalMart.
Here's the link. She has other great charts and infographics here and there on the site. http://catandgirl.com/
I'm sorry, but Coloradans are by far the most likely to have met in a gym. Or a bike shop.

Arizona? Try a TeaBagger rally.
The data set for this actually seems pretty small. 100 missed connections per state is a somewhat reasonable size, but definitely not if they're the "100 most recent Missed Connections posted on Craigslist at the time of data collection." You'd think that the results would vary a fair amount by time of day/week.
I can only assume by "Subway" they mean the sandwich place...sexy!

And wow...McDonalds wins a state in the middle of America! Like a oily heart pumping out missed romance...as the Walmart tendrils of Texas spread "what-might-have-beens" throughout the body.

@2 I'm pretty sure that's a joke at Indiana's expense. That, or Hoosiers really do long for their sisters.
I don't remember ever seeing anyone of my own species at Walmart, let alone a potential mate. I must be going to the wrong Walmarts, in the wrong states.
Missed Connections/I Saw U's are sad as shit.

JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER, PEOPLE. Then you can find out in five minutes how much someone annoys you, rather than pine after a fictional version of a person you've created in your head from a distance.
Indiana is fucking weird.

Last time I drove through there, every county got to decide their own time zone. Whenever I'd stop for gas or food, nobody could tell me what the hell the time was.

And every thirty miles there was another crappy shopping mall with another Applebee's. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone episode.
You're not a true Seattle-ite until you've scored a date on the bus.

I'm not looking for a hookup but I've been searching for "24" in missed connections at least once a week for years now because the posts are so fun to read (Plus it only requires typing 2 characters. I like my voyeurism to be efficient). There are about 20 ads per week for 24 Hour Fitness in the Bay Area alone and they are almost exclusively m4m. The shower ones are my favorite.
I used to post a Craigslist missed connection of the day on my blog, and the South totally hooks up at Wal Mart.
who woulda thought passive-agressive love spawns in so many walmarts? Maybe that's why Seattle's primary MC is on buses --we got no walmarts!
I'd rather not date or meet anyone who saw me at a Walmart.
This is a political map. The states the Democrats cannot win for love nor money are Walmart States.

Walmart figures highly in these states because Walmart is pretty much the only leisure-time activity available to the people there, everything else of interest or value there having been driven out...by Walmart. I have personal experience in some of these places, and Walmart is often literally the only place OPEN there; if you don't want to go to Walmart, you have to stay home (watch out for Indianans behind the sofa, though).

This is a feedback loop, because living in a world where Walmart is the only leisure-time option is a huge factor in creating the shoddy, fearful, poverty-stricken, uneducated, diminished-expectations worldview that Republicans thrive on. In a closed-off Walmart universe, it's easy to believe that nameless immigrants and welfare recipients are are the ones keeping you down and preventing you from having it off with that 300-pound hottie on a bed of hoarded paper towels.
What is more sad is the posters are probably 20-30somethings that have a life of on line dating to look forward to. Given reality 30 years ago, you either had the balls to make a move or you lost out. Now some Missed Connection post allows the poster to feel like they have done EVERYTHING they can to find love.
Whether or not there's people that might welcome an advance on their morning bus commute, I think it's safe to say the general vibe is that's it's the time or place. Mix that with the bus' painfully slow speed, an infrequency that increases the likelyhood you'll see a lot of the same faces, and a shared sense of misery (i.e., the bus) and you've got yourself a breeding ground for missed connection.
Everyone be eye-humping on the bus.
I met my spouse through a bus-related missed connection. No, really. Everyone who hears the story says, "That never happens!" so it can't be all that successful a strategy.
Why the buses in Washington you ask? That's because you guys don't have any other public transportation! Look at Illinois, we have a decent train system within the city and in the suburbs. Look at New York, the subway is the biggest missed connection. What do these all have in common? Lonely people taking public transportation! Unfortunately for Washington all you have is that rotten Seattle Metro system that manages to be late in the dead of night with no traffic!
Most of the missed connections in Indiana are from women looking to reconnect. For example, "You were so handsome when you came by to pick up the kids for the weekend, I wish we would try again." I live there, I'm not defending it, but that whole section is for laughs or fucking fatties. And to #16, we never know what time it is because the weed is that good.
Ugh, notice the WalMart states. Gross.
I wonder if Wisconsin has the highest rate of fetal alcohol syndrome?
Yep, it sure does. Just looked it up. Fuck! And the south has the lowest.
@31, I thought it was Alaska.
@ 23, missed connection personal classifieds have existed for decades. Like all classifieds, they exist only online now, but they weren't invented with the internet.
@ 31/32, looks like Utah has the lowest.

Whoops - that's a map of binge drinking among women of child-bearing age, not the rate of alcohol fetal syndrome. I imagine there's a consistent correlation between the two, but this doesn't prove it.
I'm surprised about Nevada and casinos, and probably shouldn't be self-parody. My limited experience with Nevadans is that the locals don't go to casinos (at least not on a regular basis), but that doesn't preclude a local from seeing someone attractive in a casino.
@36, they're probably all along the lines of "you gave me a sweet smile when you walked by me getting chewed out by some entitled douchebag from the convention hall because his free drink wasn't cold enough. Wanna get together and commiserate about our shit jobs?"
Love it! The perfect wall map!
What exactly is a super store? Is that just another way of saying walmart?
Speaking from experience, @22 is right. I'm originally from SD, and watched it happen to the town I went to college.

But everyone is missing the true shining star of this map: Oklahoma! "Sate fair"? That is fucking adorable!
Dear God, Rhode Island! Parking Lots? Really?