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Where has romance gone?

Curious I asked her if any of her classmates had received cards as well and she  said no. Then I asked her what was the reaction form her classmates when she got the cards and trinkets.

She informed me that she had no clue about what she had received as the  ‘admirer’ had given her a text book and told her not to read it until she had got back to her class. Unknown to her, the boys in her class who saw the exchange were more than suspicious and quietly followed her all the way to class.

Once in the classroom, they insisted she open the book. First of all, the cards fell out, and then she saw the chains and a picture the ‘admirer’ had sketched of Ben Ten. I told her she was very lucky as I did not remember having such thoughtful admirers when I was her age.

But the incident got me thinking as to how the concept of romance has changed over the years. Before the introduction of these pesky gadgets called mobile telephones, dates were respected. If the couple agreed to meet at a certain time at an agreed place, it would be planned well in advance either face to face or over the telephone and that was why telephone booths were very popular.

This nonsense of ‘I am just around the corner’ was simply not there. It was either you were at the rendezvous in person or not at all. I also feel the nonexistence of mobile phones forced us to find out where our better halves lived.

I mean communication had to take place and what was more romantic than taking a leisurely stroll with the apple of your eye under the excuse of escorting him or her home! The mobile phone culture and Internet have killed the art of writing love letters.

Remember those ridiculous letters we got from boys who in the name of trying to impress would include rather creative quotes from either geography or physics lessons? The over used line was: ‘And how is the atmospheric temperature? Others came up with hilarious quotes like ‘you are the butter of my bread’.

Now depending on how well you like the determined Romeo you would strategically decide whether or not to share the letter with the fellow females at school. I remember being totally annoyed when I received my first romantic letter at school and my so called best friend dragged me to the principal’s office reporting the wrong boy.

I was embarrassed and had to apologise to the poor victim while I sought out the right admirer without any help from my so called best friend. Text messages now rule the romantic horizon and men keep us ladies waiting in dingy drinking joints swatting away blood sucking mosquitos while they keep telling us tongue in cheek how they are just about to arrive!

A  tribute  to  the  late  Former  ...

Author: Natasha K'okutangilira

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