Mr. Right might hack into your computer

August 3, 2014

One of the great traditions of the summer is something called a summer romance. Frankly, after spending the equivalent of light-years in gridlock traffic, by August I’m not feeling the love. I know it’s out there; I’m just not sure what the definition of romance is today.

It used to be easy. You could spot a couple holding hands, walking along the beach and whispering sweet nothings to each other. But apparently holding hands is a thing of the past. Instead, those hands are wrapped around their backside and shoved into each other’s back pocket. And then, they don’t so much as stroll as hobble and sway side to side. Forget about whispering sweet nothings; everyone’s ears are plugged into iPods.

This scenario wouldn’t be possible for me. My rear end is so wide, the guy would need the reach of someone like NBA star Shaquille O’Neal to flip around and get into my back pocket, that is, if he could even find a pocket under all the folds of skin. Not only that, but my height has shrunk to the point where you would have to have a metal detector to find me. Mostly I am all titanium anyway; my DNA reveals nothing but replacement parts, commonly found in any home improvement store. All of these parts have bulked up my body. In fact, my head looks like an afterthought popping out between two shrubs. And then I don’t so much as stroll as I am held up by gravity. I am in that phase of my life where I can fall over at any given moment, faster than a spinning top. It’s not a pretty picture.

Years ago, young people used the personal ads to find romance. There were no instant meetings, unless you were fixed up by your Aunt Bette. But by using written communication, people could be very specific as to what they liked and disliked in a date. For instance, I know I’ve seen this ad, “Single white male looking for single white female who loves to mow the lawn, enjoys days of doing the laundry that’s been sitting in a hamper for a week, watches sports channels only, cooks a mean macaroni and cheese casserole and can change the oil on a ‘57 Chevy. Looks aren’t important.” Now that would be a match made in heaven.

If that wasn’t romantic enough, there was always the bar scene. Here you could interact on a personal basis, with intelligent conversation, and really get to know important things about a person, such as what astrological sign they were born under. Not only that, but a guy could pretend to be an airline pilot and a gal could pretend to be a model. OK, so not everyone is honest in this type of setting, but some of those women actually do resemble a 747 Boeing aircraft. These days, the pretend pilot has been replaced by the hedge fund manager, which I guess could mean he is in landscaping.

So now all of that leaves us with only one route, the high-tech street of today, in terms of a summer romance. You could find love by fax, or I wouldn’t be surprised if it was outsourced to places like Vietnam or India. Ultimately, Mr. Right might just hack into your computer. You never know.

Perhaps we should look to the older generation for lessons in summer romance. They’ve kept the fires burning all these years. You’ve seen them sitting on benches on the boardwalk, quietly people-watching. No words are needed or exchanged. OK, that’s because they’ve talked themselves to the point where there is nothing left to say.

Summer romance is fleeting, like Frank Sinatra’s song, “The Summer Wind.” Catch it if you can.

  • 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.