When living in a city like New York where posters, advertisements, lights, stickers, graffiti, and window displays confront us at every street corner, it becomes somewhat necessary to shut off our senses to the over stimulating propaganda that surrounds us. However there’s often that one poster or advertisement that sticks out, you know, the one that you remember to ask your friends if they’ve seen. Whether it’s a sign at the Bedford L of Lena Dunham looking quirky or one of those advertisements on subway trains that begs the question, “Is your dog a total ‘dog?’” some things are simply memorable, and #ThisIsHowYouWinHerBack is no different.
Over the past couple of weeks you may or may not have noticed a slew of strangely simple posters plastered around the city consisting primarily of a quote—“It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever ever sight”—and followed by icons for Twitter and Instagram, #thisishowyouwinherback, and a URL to a website of the same name. Believe it or not the posters are not part of some sick marketing ploy reliant on ad space and visits to the website—which is actually just a Tumblr with a purchased domain name—but are actually part of a single man’s quest to win back the love of his life.
While little was known about the project or whatever you want to call it until Monday, the anonymous lonely boy responsible for the posters published a transcript of an interview with Time Out New York on his website and linked to the subsequent article in which his mission is introduced and then essentially made fun of by two writers tossing around relevant pop culture references via IM. While he still chooses to remain anonymous in the article, the mastermind behind this love campaign answered several questions regarding the posters—namely his purpose, his goal, and what the hell happened with this girl he’s pining for.
In short, ten months ago this guy broke up with his girlfriend after having, what he calls, “one of those arguments where neither [of them] ever took the first calming step back,” after which he wrote on her chalkboard “It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever ever sight,” which is a botched quote from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, that actually reads, “It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” Interesting choice. While it might seem unnecessary to be critical of the quote given that this is a sickeningly sweet gesture and is missing only one tiny word, apparently his ex is a literary fanatic—hence the project’s title, which is a play on Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her (a book his ex-girlfriend apparently liked a lot)—and it doesn’t seem like anyone has called him out on the quote’s incorrect reproduction.
Regardless, this social media guru has taken to the Internet to win back the love of his life by canvassing all five boroughs with these oddly endearing posters. While he explains the project as, “both an apology and a gesture to show her how much she actually means to [him]” he’s going to somehow end it on Valentine’s Day in a way that currently remains unknown.
By this point, you’re probably thinking one of three things: “Aww,” “Ew,” or “Uh…?,” which are all perfectly reasonable responses given the cuteness, sappiness, and absurdity of the whole thing. Regardless, if you’re interested in helping this dude re-romance his lady you can print out a poster here, or take pictures of the ones you see around the city and tag them on Twitter and Instagram with #thisishowyouwinherback.