Updated: Mar 29, 2021
Here we are, a year into the pandemic, having gone from a mental sanity range of 0 to 100 (0 being the sanest and 100, the craziest) several times a day when it suddenly occurred to me; where has all the romance gone?
Romance, unfortunately, has been slowly losing its grip on mankind long before the pandemic. If it wasn't for Valentine's Day, we would really be in trouble. I haven't read a love poem, heard a love rap, I have to search hard for a love movie, and to be honest, It's been years since I read a romantic novel that touched my heart and made me sentimentally weep.
As I read an article by a reporter from the New York Times, who was recently transferred to Japan, I was forced to ponder has romance become a lost art? The reporter has a rather gruesome beat and detailed how her only outlet was going to the many Japanese gardens. It seems as though these gardens are everywhere and a very popular attraction. Her description of the exotic flowers, the magnitude, and the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms were all so transformative; from the mundane to the sweet scent of gardenias thoughts of romance danced through my head, inspiring this blog.
About two years ago, when my daughter was in 7th grade, the parents were asked to chaperone the 8th-grade prom. All 7th graders were invited. Happy to show our eagerness as we hadn't participated in any other activity throughout the school year my husband and I went happily along. The prom was held in the school's library/ meeting space. Typical of teenagers, there was a D.J., and yes, all of the lights were turned out. The eldest parent in the group (thank goodness it wasn't me) was selected to sit in a corner of this room, with a view obstructed by a bookshelf as a means of keeping an eye on things. Upon observation, I didn't think the kids had anything to worry about.
In my day, the boys asked the girls to dance and there was always a slow record thrown in where you actually got to feel what it was like to be held in someone's arms, other than your parents. It was beyond obvious from the looks of this prom that those days are long gone. All the kids did was jump up and down to the fastest beat I've ever heard in my life (although M.C. Hammer had some pretty fast beats). I don't know if they ever even spoke to one another as I could only see the girls grouped with the girls and the boys grouped with the boys. How are the children ever suppose to learn the fine art of romantic conversation in that type of scenario?
At the end of the dance, the only young man who had on a suit, who paced the floor back and forth on his cell phone all night like he was conducting some major enterprise, gave a wave of his head to his "girlfriend," who dutifully left the rest of the girls and complacently followed him out the door. My daughter, who along with 4 other girls, all of whom I had to coax out of the corner at the beginning of the dance to at least stand by the wall near the other group of crazies, were glad when it was time to go. While my husband and I had a great time dancing together and drinking wine (parents had to be enticed with something) the best part of the evening was taking photos in the photo booth. Sighing at the thought that these kids are really missing out on dating, learning how to safely interact, express their feelings, and form healthy boy/girl relationships, I resolved to create a legacy of romance. That it is ok to kiss, hold hands, write a love note, plan a surprise, special times together and support one another's dreams. Is that too romantic?
With all my talk of mush, I am ashamed to say I barely earned my own stripes this past Valentine's Day. Yes, I bought a ballon, and flowers for the table, I had to run back out to get cards. It wasn't until my girlfriend, Krishna sent me a photo of how she used her good China (which she admits to using every day) to set a romantic breakfast table (they had kippers & grits) that I was inspired to do the same for dinner (we had roast chicken). We both used cloth napkins - now is that romantic or what!
I was once again reminded how brittle our romantic bones have become as I was reminded by a scene in the new Eddie Murphy movie Coming 2 America that what was once a plethora of romantic moments have now become too few and far in between. A great comeback for Eddie and Arsenio, I love this movie. There's a romantic scene that actually made me cry. I'm not going to spoil the ending for you but when you see it, you'll know it - it's that romantic.