When I last blogged, I had modern technology on the brain. Thanks to those who shared their opinions, including this practical poster: “I believe that texting is a proper form of communication when being used to convey short messages that are of little importance or simply casual conversation.” Another reader agreed: “The best is an in-person meeting, of course, (and I don’t care who it is-but I’ll walk out on anyone who spends excessive time on the cell phone when they’re supposed to be with me).” Point taken! Add to that input from friends and family, and I’ve decided not to be so heavy-handed with texting, especially when I’m with others. It’s not like the text-message approach to dating is particularly conducive to a successful relationship, anyway.You’d think I would have learned something from the relationships I’m surrounded by. Take, for example, Adam and Stephanie: two of my dearest college friends who’ve been dating since they were 16 (before the advent of cell phones as we know them). Both 32 now, the couple’s first date was at T.G.I. Fridays in Glenview. “He picked me up in his baby-blue Mustang, and after dinner we went back to his house to watch scary movies like Arachnophobia,” Stephanie remembers. “I think it was strategic; he might’ve even used the ‘arm yawn’ move.” Stephanie recalls how Adam launched his courtship by offering to pick up her and her twin sister, Sheila, for school every day. “He’d go four miles out of his way just so he could drive us to school,” Stephanie says, gushing. “We wrote notes, too, but we’d leave them on each other’s cars, and they’d be more direct: ‘Wanna meet me at Little Louie’s [in Northbrook] after school?’ You always responded to a note, unlike text messages or e-mails, which can easily be ignored.” Adam and Stephanie’s subsequent dates included at the prom and-the biggest date of all-their wedding on May 5, 2001. They’re expecting their first child in March.
As for Sheila-Stephanie’s identical twin-she, too, is in love with a former classmate from Glenbrook North, but their relationship didn’t germinate until adulthood. “I met Sheila through a mutual friend,” Andy says. “I arranged a group outing to the Bulls game because I wanted to hang out with her; I thought she was cute.” Sheila and Andy knew each other only remotely in high school (he says he had a secret crush on her), but it wasn’t until 2005 that their paths crossed again. “We did the text-message flirting thing, but about a week after that Bulls game I took her out on a real first date,” Andy admits. “The first kiss didn’t even happen until date four.” As for Sheila, she recommends going on at least two dates with a potential suitor, “because I wasn’t sure on that first one-on-one date; he seemed very nervous,” she recalls. “I even remember he had his cell phone on the table at dinner, and he kept checking his text messages. I asked him, ‘Do you have some other place to be?’” From that point on, cell phones weren’t allowed at the dinner table-a plan that worked for the pair. Sheila and Andy will tie the knot on June 30, 2007.
It’s Sunday night as I’m writing this (the culmination of a bedridden weekend; I hope to be well and back on the nightlife beat by Thursday). The Bears have just scored their winning field goal during OT, and Sheila, Stephanie, and I have been keeping one eye on the game and one eye on a dog-eared copy of Wedding Style magazine. We’re discussing Sheila and Andy’s upcoming nuptials in San Diego and, amid all of this wedding talk, Stephanie’s unborn baby girl is kicking. It serves as a good reminder that, in an often-cynical dating world filled with casual flings, love is still in fashion-even if the instant gratification of modern technology sometimes gets in the way.