I will be the first to admit that I am addicted to my iPod, I snap pictures constantly with my digital camera, and I had a virtual meltdown the day I left my cell phone at home. Gadgets and technology are a part of who I am these days. Like almost everyone else, I have a hectic lifestyle that is made infinitely easier by the use of technology. My main form of communication with friends is email, followed in a close second by cell phone calls and the miracle of text messaging. Although I’ve kicked my instant messaging habit, I still find pleasure of an occasional chat in my pajamas with 20 strangers in a room online.
But in a world where we never have to meet, where we can coexist by scarcely uttering a word to each other, I’m a sucker for old-fashioned romance.
Not that I haven’t met a beau or two on a personals website or in a chat room. In fact, they can be a great way for a single, working woman to connect with someone outside of going to a bar or concert…places too loud and impersonal to get to know someone.
But I can remember one instance in particular. I had been dating a wonderful, caring man that I had met through an online personal. We had been seeing each other off and on for a little more than a year. During that time, we emailed, we exchanged digital pictures when the mood struck us, and I called on my cell phone when I had a bit of time to chat.
Despite our high-tech relationship, one defining moment came at Christmas. It wasn’t the gift. It was more important. I can remember the way my heart caught in my throat when he gave me a card with a handwritten note inside it. I almost cried at the sentiment, written in his own beautifully manicured script. Me, an overbooked, laptop-toting professional with a slightly cynical side, choked up over a note. I carried the card with me long after the holiday was over, kept pristine inside my hard-cover journal to make sure it stayed neat, dry, and as precious as the moment I took it out of its envelope.
I guess I realized that it is those take-your-breath away moments where I find the most romance. Nothing compares to the heat of someone’s breath on your lips before you kiss. Or surge of excitement when they knock on your door after a too-long absence. Or the instant you realize you have been holding hands for a while, but you can’t seem to remember reaching for each other. Those are the moments I use to define romance. And in those moments, those moments where love reaches inside me and makes my heart ache from being so complete, so full, there isn’t a cell phone charger or modem in sight.