Blog: Love in the fast(er) lane

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By Richard Parcia This was supposed to be a piece for Valentine?s Day, but I decided to postpone it just to continue my personal tradition of not riding on the trend of the moment. I wasn?t even supposed to write about this, but I bumped into a friend of mine whose love story just got hit by a computer virus. Teddy Boy Locsin once said in one of his defunct TV shows that if you think you can fall in love with the use of a keyboard, you are pathetic. Those are not the exact words but his point was very clear. It is easy to dismiss Teddy Boy?s comment as just a complaint of a member of an older generation ? a generation whose kisses can make a girl pregnant. A generation that arguably is not supportive of women?s rights. Of veils and stampitas. Who knows? Teddy Boy might have been Rizal?s classmate. However, he has a point ? a very important one. In deeper retrospect, he wasn?t pertaining to the convenience that technology brought in the courtship process. After all, his was a generation when rock and roll was born. Rock and roll is a euphemism for sex. They, too, had such excess. So what did he meant by it? If anybody thinks that the rules of courtship changed in the Internet age, think again. It only made it faster but the very reason why people are infatuated, and eventually, fall in love, has remained the same. The process is the same with breaking up. The difference is just basically convenience. Fifty years ago, the declaration of love is not always made known to the object of affection. It was not uncommon for a guy to declare it first to the parents or the guardian. The harana, contrary to depictions in media, was not done in a whim. It was important for the male to seek permission for the serenade, else, an arinola (piss pan) will be coming his way. The ladies of the older generation apparently did use handkerchiefs to attract attention. They did not drop it though, because they understandably hated the idea of dirt ruining their embroidered article. To show interest, they intentionally would leave it behind to be noticed thinking their object of affection will return it. If there is mutual understanding, they will give it to their ?boylet? just like what Leonor Rivera did to Pepe. Of course, it is different nowadays. When I was a young computer science student, I had a classmate who wrote programs that will convey his message of love to the girl that caught his fancy. It was a brilliant program because the message will only pop up on the screen on the right moment that the girl will be using her assigned laboratory PC. We never found out how he did it. I, for one, a volunteer technician, knowing that such programs can be detected by anti-virus as programs, scanned all of the PCs in the laboratory and ended up empty handed. The most I got was the residue image in the hard drives. But aside from that, there was no trace. He was that brilliant. The use of technology to a Romeo?s advantage was not necessarily that complex. The love-struck Lothario can always employ a less technical tactic just like the technical support gentlemen of a company that I used to work for. The objective was to introduce oneself to the object of affection with a tinge of techie stuff. In cooperation with the network staff, the tech guy would disconnect the computer of the target user, who, of course, will be forced to make a support call. The guy will be the one who will answer the call and pretend to go to the user because the fix is a little complicated. Once at the desk, the ?tech? will pretend to do some clicking and checking while making small talk with the ?client?. It does not end there. The team will do this a couple of times to the point that the user will request the ?tech? not to leave her side because apparently the computer does not act up when he is around. It was a crude ploy but highly effective and I have friends who can attest to the success rate. I have godsons and goddaughters as evidence. In fact, I was once a beneficiary of the conspiracy. Mine fell flat due to my own stupidity but that?s another story. If we look closely to the tactics of the past and present, and try to compare them, the nature of the process might have differed, but the purpose has not changed. The music might have changed but the dance steps are just derivatives of the original sways. The game has not changed. It still boils down to how sincere Florante is and how will Laura reciprocate it. Having that in mind, Teddy Boy is right. After all, love will always be love. Its authenticity makes it all worthwhile. The message is all important. To click or not to click, makes no difference]]>

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