Monday, April 21, 2008

The Romantic Message - An exploration of my inner neoluddite

I just started to wonder whether romance wasn't better before cell phones and email became popular. I thought of mailboxes and messages on answering machines, and the suspense of a blinking red light or a visit from the mailman—back when we were allowed to say mailman instead of mail carrier.

The constant access to a romantic interest may be convenient, but where's the romance? A cell phone call, instant message, or email does allow instant gratification for the need to hear a voice, apologize, or leave a love note. But since when has instant gratification been good for the human race?

One might ask why a letter delayed days in the mail or a missed phone call might be any more romantic than the instant version, and I'll tell you why. A sweet sentiment can be captured in a note or a phone message completely unqualified—alone and without the clutter of an entire conversation about other things. One receiving it can know that their admirer was thinking of them days before, and might be thinking of them still. It's the joy of an unexpected and pure expression of love that emails and phone calls cannot deliver.

No girl can help but feel special when in a private moment she finds a simple note, or when on a busy day she comes home to a message from one she loves. Anyone can call and interrupt your day, or send you something that cost little time and no money to prepare, but a real lover will take the time to give a simple gift that with subtlety will find its way into a girl's day when she least expects it. It's a way of saying, "I'll take the time to write you a letter so you don't have to take time out to talk to me." Now that may seem too giving, but it's that attitude that is missing from the modern romance.

As I've expressed above, romance is only made better by waiting. A few days' or hours' delay will only make a message sweeter. And even if you cannot be bothered to waste time on antiquated modes of communication, remember that unconventional things are the most romantic. Everyone wants a unique romance, so be a real lover who writes letters in the age of email—a true romantic who will wait patiently for love to arrive as it should.