Summer romance doesn’t look the same these days

August 27, 2013

After spending the summer in gridlock traffic, at this point in August, I’m not feeling the love. So I’m surprised that these wonderful seasonal months are finally coming to an end. And with the end of the summer, many traditions will cease, one of them being the summer romance.

Quite frankly, I don’t know what constitutes romance today. I know, it could be easily spotted just by seeing a couple holding hands, walking along the beach, saying their goodbyes as they go off to their opposite hometowns. Usually they don’t reconnect, having come to their senses, and the summer romance goes the way of, “How in the world could I have dated that person?” You get the idea. The couple has obviously matured beyond the ID bracelet and the ducktail hairstyle. Well, that and a sudden look at those photos where both of them look like a remake of the Frankie and Annette movies.

Today, with all the high-tech devices, you can find yourself falling in love via fax, and pretty soon I wouldn’t be surprised if the summer romance is outsourced to places like India or Vietnam.

So I recently watched young people strolling along the boardwalk, looking for signs of that summer romance. I think the way it works today is not by holding hands, though. Instead those hands are twined around and shoved into each others’ back pocket. And then they don’t so much as stroll as hobble and sway side to side, sometimes obscuring the catchy saying declared across their rear end.

See, this would never work for me. For one thing, my rear end is so large, the guy would need the reach of someone like NBA star Shaquille O’Neal to even get to my back pocket. And my height has shrunk to the point where you would need a metal detector to find me; I have a lot of metal replacement parts, so that part is pretty easy, although expensive. Plus I don’t really stroll, since I am now in that phase of my life where I could tip over like a slowing top at any moment. Most of the time now I just depend on gravity to keep me upright.

OK, maybe those people are too young to use as an example. Yes, I’ve seen older couples, but still considered young adults, display a much more mature attitude of what their idea of commitment and romance holds for them. They’ve learned to grasp the concept that you really have to take the time to get to know a person. They’ve come to the conclusion that the concept could best be expressed by lying on a bar and having shots poured into their belly buttons.

A lot of the young ones are forgoing the bar scene, though, and using the internet for romance, having woken up the next morning in bed with a stranger, or the coat rack they had been dancing with the night before.

It seems the internet has its risky side too. With any social media, you really have to read between the lines. Things often sound great, “Saw your photo on Facebook and am very interested in young women of your type. No rush to meet. I’m considered rather good looking, like to socialize and am currently studying law. Please respond to cell block D, San Quentin Penitentiary page.”

Perhaps we can look to the older generation to define romance. I’ve seen them sitting on the bench; no words are spoken - well actually, that may be because even though it’s their spouse, they’re not sure who the person really is. Hey, it’s been 50 years; give them a break.

I do know romance does exist in those old songs, like Frank Sinatra’s version of “Summer Wind.” Well, it happens for a while and then he sings that he lost her to the summer wind. OK, I’m still not feeling the love, but I know it’s out there.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.