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iHeart U: a satire on romance

Since the dawn of man, there has been one thing that set up apart from all other hairy creatures that allegedly swam around in the primordial soup: romance. That sweet little thing that every women who’s ever drawn breath has wanted just a tiny taste of, and any man with half a brain knew that it took more than a few pretty words and the promise of a strong sturdy roof over her head to get an “I Do” out of the pretty pink lips they dreamed about day and night. They spent month upon month courting their lady, taking her on long walks and holding hands and giving her simple sweet kisses that they pray put as many volts of electricity through her toes as it did theirs. It took time and attention, random gestures of affection like telling her how beautiful she looked and picking flowers for her for no reason at all, and sweet love songs written by hand and sung with all of a man’s heart. A man actually had to love his wife before she would marry him. If they were lucky, it was love at first sight and the wedding was arranged as soon as the rings could be forged and the dress could be made. That was before there was such thing as Twitter, Facebook, and the dear old Boob Tube. Once was it that every young person knew how to write in the prettiest cursive and with it there would be pages upon pages of love letters written to their sweetheart. Now a couple taps of the dear old opposables, and a gal knows her boo luvs her. Electronic romance is new school, and the classics need to put on the shelf to gather dust.



With every revolution, the definition of romance revolutionized as well. Songs played in person went to mix tapes and long walks became even longer car rides, and there were more nights spent at home with the lights down low and a romantic movie on the TV. Long business trips and deployments were a chance for boyfriends and girlfriends, husband and wives, and fiancés of all ages to miss each other constantly miss each other until someone came home with a giant grin and the world biggest and sloppiest kiss. It’s ridiculous to think that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Who wants to spend every night going over memories and all the tiny things you love about that person you’re missing? Phone companies got the drift and came out with cell phones and camera phones with Face time. Not far behind them were the computer companies with web cam related chat rooms. Once they caught on, everyone could see whoever they wanted at any time they wanted. Hours staring and smiling at each other with few words spoke is worth the cost of going over one’s data limit. To fight the Wi-Fi for a clear signal just so the Skype call from a spouse that would be home in only a few hours can come is the same as fighting for the right to sleep in the same bed for another night. The idea of going to the movies to get out of the house is simply ridiculous when it can be pulled up on the internet box hooked up to the big screen mounted on the wall. Monster movie make-out sessions and cuddling in the back of the theater or the back seat of the car at the drive through are so 19th century.



The moment Romeo married Juliet in that little preacher’s chapel while their parents though nothing of them disappearing, every teenage relationship had some unspoken pact to turn out just the same, but without the dying in each other’s arms. Before the invention of the internet and cell phones, boys would practically spend themselves broke, nearly breaking a few bones and every guy-code possible just to win the heart of the woman he loved. Teenage romance was seen as something sweet and innocent, but every girl still dreamed of being swept off her feet and carried out of the tower to a waiting steed. Before he did though, he had to meet her parents, get grilled like a well done burger, and make sure that “Daddy’s Little Princess” would be home before curfew. If the relationship survived A WHOLE YEAR of dinners with the families, grueling hours of searching for the perfect gift for whatever holiday was coming up, and the not-so-secretly placed bets by their peers on how long it would take one of them to break it all off, there was little to no doubt that there were to be wedding bells heard not too shortly after the diplomas were handed out. Luckily, cell phones were invented and computers got small enough to fit on a desk. The long sappy love notes that once got passed in class or stuffed in the vents of school lockers no longer got kids everyone in trouble with the janitor or the teacher, but weren’t sent though text message and emails and personal messages. The bathroom and court yard walls were no longer filled with marker hearts and spray paint that proclaimed the initials of the lucky couples of the week. Social networking makes it much easier for the thousands of friends we somehow know through the best friend of the sister of your great grandparent’s best friend’s grandson to congratulate the newly daters that just changed their statuses to “in a relationship.”



Back when people used to meet their future spouses before they’d even finished paying off their class rings and not on EHarmony or Match.com, dates was a one-on-one thing. Couples would actually go to a specially booth in their favorite restaurant to stare into each other’s eyes and barely taste their food, spilling dreams and secrets they wouldn’t even tell their priest. If friends showed up they might be invited over for a while but soon after arriving they respectfully left the happy couple to acting as though someone had given them love potion #9. Double dates were not uncommon, but sooner or later the doubles split into single worlds revolving around the one set of warm bodies and the guy flying across the movie screen trying not to get blown up. They came, they saw, they went home in the same cars they came in and there was no splitting. There was even joking and talking about what had just happened moments before they walked outside. It never slowed down the rate of teenage pregnancies, so in this modern age that we live in, there are more group dates than ever before. Couples are seen more in public places like the mall or the park with larger groups of friends where everyone can see that they’re not doing anything wrong. Guys have stopped asking the ever yearned for question, “Will you go out with me?” but the less exciting phrase: “Hey, want to hang out?” It seemed to put so many fathers’ minds at ease that they trusted these young men as if they were friends who blushed and grinned like idiots every time they saw their daughters. Such a young man coming to the door to meet and greet is no longer a priority until there have been more “hang out” sessions than days apart, and the cell phone bill is piling up at record paces. It’s much safer for teenager’s just to hang out without a plan of action. That way they aren’t tempted to go against what they said they were going to do. It’s a trust build exercise for parents everywhere and a chance for teenagers to try their wings. Hanging out opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the kinds of dates that teenagers can go on. Parties are hardy and make-out madness with someone you're just hanging out with is all the rage



The idea of walking up to a complete stranger, saying, “Hi, what’s your name? What’s yours sign? Can I get your numbers?” scares the living daylights out of most breathing human beings. The bar scene seems to only really work when the guys or gal of your dreams is half sloshed on Mojitos and Screw Drivers. With more and more people going to college and getting degrees and jobs before they decide to settle down, there’s no time to go to the church’s singles’ fellowship night. Matchmakers are an invention that have been around forever and a day, and when they weren’t arranging marriages between couples that had no business being together for anything other than that the finances would benefit one more than the other, their work somehow did some good. Human’s quickly realized that they had no business choosing who they would spend the rest of their life with, and that their own instincts weren’t good enough to figure out who was right for them and who was wrong. When the results from the breathing match makers failed even worse than the hundreds of rejections they’d gotten from their own attempts without paying out the wazoo, and speed dating rushed them towards mental breakdowns, humanity turned towards the latest and greatest invention to the modern era. The invention of dating sights and chat servers is possibly one of the greatest inventions know to men and women alike. Places such as Match, EHarmony, and Christian Mingle too every little detail of its user’s lives, put them on a profile for the whole world to see, and for a small fee would match anyone who liked kitty-cats with someone else who liked kitty-cats. If they also liked long walks on the beach and sunset kisses, then two members of the opposite sex (or same sex, I judge not), would meet, greet, eat and be merry if they didn’t look as ugly as wanted posters. The thrill of never really knowing just who your day was going to be, even with their profile picture burned into your corneas, is worth meeting that next door neighbor who you knew spend more time looking at Sci-Fi movies than the inside of a job office is worth it.



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