“It’s all about communication and negotiation: areas of harmony in the relationship, fusion of energies and potential areas of frictions. Just try it out now with Love Test Calculator!”
— From the Love Test Calculator app website
I’m not an old-fashioned girl (OK, so strictly speaking I’m not a girl, but let’s not be ageist); still, there are some things the old school just got right.
Romance, for starters. Candlelight. Flowers. Mood music. An elegantly set table. Sparkling wine. Lovingly prepared food.
You just can’t go wrong with old-fashioned ambiance when it comes to special occasions like Valentine’s Day.
In recent years, my husband and I have entertained ourselves at home rather than going to a restaurant where we might feel rushed simply because it is one of the busiest dining-out nights of the year.
Not that I fault restaurants for trying to accommodate as many guests as they can on what can be a very lucrative evening.
But there are some things you don’t want to hurry, and romance is one of them.
(Yes, I know The Supremes said it better, but you get the point.)
That’s why I just don’t get people who try to shortchange the experience, taking every side street they can on the road to love.
I’m talking about people who take the thought out of thoughtful; the type to grab a sad-looking bouquet of discounted flowers at the grocery store just to save 50 per cent, or who would regift their special someone with “The Hobbit” on DVD (sale price still attached) because they had two copies, forgetting their partner is into film noir.
Still, there’s obviously a big marketplace out there for people like that; do an Internet search for “romance apps” and the options for pre-fab romance abound. Just download the app and use it to send text messages to melt his or her heart.
Describing one of those in her App Smart column in The New York Times Feb. 5, Kit Eaton explains how it works:
“It gathers inspirational phrases from the web … and the phrases are as simple as ‘I need your hug’ or as sophisticated as this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: ‘There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.’”
(Boy that last one is open to interpretation. Translation: don’t expect monogamy).
Eaton also notes, “There are hundreds of these littering app stores, and many are awful.”
“Awful,” somehow, doesn’t quite capture it. (And all the typos and grammatical errors that follow are verbatim.)
“Be more romantic with this cute app. Send sweet & romantic messages to your sweet heart with little fuss,” one website proclaims, as if sending expressions of love is such a bother.
How about this website, Romantic Love Messages. Here’s the sales pitch:
“You may always want to keep happy to your lover. You may always want to make feel that you love him/her. So, how to do all the things. This app will be very much helpful to make them feel that you love them.”
Fancy getting regular missives like this?
“I heard someone whisper your
name, but when I turned to
see who it was, I noticed it was
alone, then realized it was my
heart beat telling me ‘I MISS U’”
Groan. How about this one?
“There r 2 things in LIFE that r very painful
One is when ur love loves you & doesn’t tell u…
Second when ur love doesn’t love u and tell u.”
Uh, I think there might be some romance missing from that one. …
Another website, “Hot Romance Messages,” proclaims, “Wanna send hot and romance messages to your loved ones! Not able to find the right words to express your emotions. Androidinapp brings you one more application with enhanced UI and a lot more content. Just download the app and start sending messages as this app is completely free of cost.”
Gee, they had me at “free of cost.”
Here’s a sample of what is supposed to kindle the flames of passion:
“Girl: what do you like in me?
Boy: those two balls having black dots in center.
Girl: you rascal are you with me for that?
Boy: yes, I like your eyes.”
Or how about this?
“Who’s guilty? Wife dreaming in
the night suddenly shouts
quickly my husband is back
man get up, jumps out of the
window and realizes, dammit I
am the husband”
You get the drift.
For any Romeos and Juliets out there on this Valentine’s Day weekend who might think old-fashioned romance is passé, it isn’t.
Forget the apps. Instead, dim the lights, put on some soft music, break out your best candlesticks and turn off the TV (you can do without the Olympics for one night unless, of course, it’s something you love to watch together).
But don’t put away your cellphone just yet.
As Kit Eaton writes in The Times, “Don’t forget that your smartphone can also make calls. This makes it useful for contacting restaurants, flower delivery services or talking to that special someone.”
Talking directly to each other, in this day and age?
Now that’s romantic.
Pam Frampton is a columnist and The Telegram’s associate managing editor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.