Modern Romance: Complex, yet compounded

Posted on January 16, 2010


Romance is a nebulous thing with the curious property of being describable but not definable.  “Romance is showing you care.” Sure, it sounds good at first. But while draping your coat over a puddle and asking if she remembered to brush her teeth may be triggered by the same altruistic motivation, they rate differently on the romance scale and generally elicit dramatically different reactions.

Some things are inherently romantic, like hearts. This is very useful, because you can pile things upon the object of your affections and win romance points without expending any additional effort or thought. The trick is to figure out what is romantic and what is not.

There is a basic rule of thumb to follow:  If it’s cool, it’s not romantic.

For example, high powered rifles are not romantic. Science fiction is not romantic. Blu-Ray disc players are not romantic … unless you rented Sleepless In Seattle, Pretty Woman, The Notebook and Love Actually and will watch them with her, back-to-back, without making a single snorting sound or sarcastic “as if” remark, and never once mentioning that there’s a game on.

Practical things are not romantic. Why do you think blenders and toaster ovens are so notoriously unromantic? Because they have an alternative use, of course. But get her a poofy thing that sits on her dresser behind her jewelry box, never to be touched or moved again, and she’ll melt in your arms.

Candles are romantic. Sunrises and sunsets are romantic. Any kind of low light is romantic (Hint: This is why dinner dates after dark are more romantic than lunch dates at noon). Combine low light sources, and it stands to reason that the air of romance will be so thick, your beloved will be blind to anything else but the radiance of her shimmering knight in armor.

Chocolates are not only romantic, they’re complimentary. When you give a box of chocolates to your beloved, it says, “You could pig out on this tub of lard and bloat out to three tons, but you’d still be the apple of my eye.” It doesn’t matter if it’s true — it’s the message that counts. But the real reason to give your loved one chocolates is because any loved one worth her salt will turn right around and offer you some. It’s a win-win no matter how you look at it. Buy her a red one shaped like a heart, and you’re a lock.

Red is romantic, because red is the color of love and passion. Consider roses. Red roses mean, “I love you.” Yellow roses mean, “Let’s just be friends,” which is synonymous with, “You are irritating, and I hate you.” So you do not want to be wrong. Get her red roses, red ribbons, red balloons, red teddy bears, red puppies, and red tickets to the World Series, and she’ll fall hopelessly under your spell.

Based on these factors, it’s implied that the single most romantic thing in the universe can be calculated scientifically.  It’s even possible that the single-most romantic item in the world is a small red candle made out of chocolate and shaped like a teddy bear holding a heart with scribbles all over it that plays a tune when you wind it up that you spent an inordinate amount of time, effort and energy creating. Toss her one of these at sunset on your way to your buddy’s beer bash/poker game, and you’ll be able to stay out all night, come home stinking of cheap perfume and booze, and still somehow strengthen your relationship.

In short, the fundamental message is that, no matter how hard you try, you can never be romantic enough. But if you can find the right combination of romantic elements, timing and (this is the hard part, guys) sincerity, you just might even be allowed to watch the game, uninterrupted!

Posted in: My Twisted Humor