There’s a Victorian in My Driveway

It appears that I have an admirer and that in this advanced age of the internet, I am being courted in the most Victorian of manners. The other night I found a box of chocolate on my doorstep. There was a card attached and after reading it, I quickly sampled several pieces. My love of chocolate is great enough that I probably would have eaten them anyway but I like to think this is instead a case of life mimicking art. I’ve been reading Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady and although finding the main character Isabel quite irritating (of course I would have married Lord Warburton), I definitely sympathize with the idea of suitors and American women being brash. Having been pining for Europe ever since I got back last month, ex-patriot literature is the most immediate solution.

But back to my Victorian quandary — it seems that in this modern age, there are more and more people returning to the novelties of the past. Maybe it is because I am a natural skeptic and tend to dislike TECHNOLOGY, FADS, and HYPE (yet I am typing this all out in my blog and later I’ll need to update my Yelp account). But this quaint act of leaving a present (chocolate at that!) seemed so much more genuine than any Facebook poke, wall comment, or message. It actually took some guts.

The only reason I can even write about this event and be positive that he will not read it is that he has no access to the link of this blog. He and I aren’t even Facebook friends. This, of course, is a far cry from my old practice of adding everyone whom I had ever had a conversation with or an introduction to. I eventually became Facebook savvy enough too know that I really shouldn’t be adding everyone. Those individuals I had drunkenly made out with in the dark corners of frat parties were better left as past memories.

However, the fascination with adding strangers apparently was mutual. At some point when I was living in Scotland, I made a grand exit at a party at which I knew only one or two people by shouting out my name and a “Find me on Facebook!” The next day I had six friend requests from guys who had all been at the party; I had only talked to one of those six.

I’d like to think that now that I am an adult, I can step away from this bad habit. I don’t plan on adding my current suitor, now or possibly ever. A friend recently told me that she never allows herself to find her current interest or lover on Facebook. “You start looking through their photos,” she said, “And then you start hypothesizing. Who are those other girls leaning so close and touching his arm? It makes you paranoid over nothing. And nobody needs that.”

The last guy I dated I refused to add on Facebook and even knowing he had a profile made me crazy. Even though I could see nothing but his name and a small photo, I would check it and towards the end, I noticed he had changed the photo to one of him and some girl. They were probably just friends, but the imagination runs awfully wild.

I think I’ll take chocolate over that any day.

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