#4: CYRANO DE BERGERAC (or, Craigslist missed connections for the shy among us)
Cyrano de Bergerac—he’s French, a poet, an excellent swordsman, wonderful with words and feelings…and he has a huge nose, and thus fears his beloved Roxanne will never love him, because people can and will be shallow, over the silliest of things.
So, what does Cyrano do? Well, there is another man, Christian who loves Roxanne too—who, yes, was the inspiration for The Police’s Roxanne—but while physically attractive, Christian’s as inarticulate as Cyrano is ‘ugly,’ so Cyrano whispers to this man what to say while said man, in turn, repeats them to Roxanne, winning her heart with Cyrano’s words.
To make a long—that is, five acts long—story short, Christian and Cyrano both die in battles, but Roxanne finally discovers who it was who really wrote all those lovely letters, and professes her love for Cyrano as he himself dies.
Yes, Cyrano de Bergerac—is perhaps the only man in history who would have taken the phrase ‘size doesn’t matter’ to refer to something completely different than its intended target.
The example of Cyrano serves to show the importance of speaking openly and frankly when you get the chance, both on the Craigslist missed connections section and indeed, before things even get that far. After all, people post there in part because of missed connections…
And what’s a missed connection if not a missed opportunity? Cyrano missed his chance for love with Roxanne, in part, because of poor self-esteem and because he hesitated (why, one might even say you shouldn’t ‘put on the red light!’) The actual play by Edmond Rostand is much deeper than that, of course, but suffice it to say Cyrano’s lost romance with Roxanne in the play is one giant missed connection.
Instead of being direct, he chooses the indirectness of speaking through someone else, that is, Christian, who in turn is speaking with someone else’s words. Neither are being direct and while that degree of indirectness can be attractive—and that is one reason the Craigslist missed connections section flourishes today—it certainly does not meet with attractive ends in Cyrano’s tale.
As such, if you ARE going to use the Craigslist missed connections section, you want to be as direct there as possible without being crude.
After all, you are already distanced by way of not seeing the object of your affection in person while you profess whatever it is you would like to say, so your words have to be as powerful as Cyrano’s and make yours a message worth following up.