“Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.”
– Carolyn Gold Heilbrun
This question comes from another loyal reader: “My love life is in dire straits right now, but I really want to make it work! Sage Advice please help!” Thanks for another great question. Lo! Springtime, the season of love, is right around the corner. As we approach that most romantic time of year, who else but a poet should help us understand the eternal shimmer one feels when embracing true love beneath the budding cherry blossoms? This week I have been in contact with a talented poet who is going to teach us all a thing or two about romance in the modern age. For privacy reasons, she wishes to remain anonymous. She currently resides in Woodhaugh (the suburb of love).
“Some say that romance in the modern world is dead. I could not disagree more! Some of us just need a little nudge in the right direction; a little guidance – and I’m here to help with that. First off, we all need to be open about what we like and how we feel! Take me for example. I have what you might call an ‘unconventional’ love life. I am a mechanophile, which means I get turned on by mechanical objects. I have a particular interest in boats. My tastes are not limited to sea-faring vessels necessarily, but I feel very much at home high upon a poop-deck, surveying the harbour sloops through a porthole (if you know what I’m saying). The best part of being a mechanophile is that you can have many lovers without the threat of jealousy. Like the sea herself, you my roll on – untamed, raging, and forgiven of all misbehaviours - with any number of buoyant beauties. That being said, my romantic advice here will work for any kind of relationship, mechanical or otherwise.
The art of wooing that special someone is something I think most of us could work on. Take them out for a meal, enjoy an age-appropriate movie, write them a poem – all of these are good starts. For movies, I’d recommend something intimate: Titanic, Jaws, Jaws II, The Poseidon Adventure, Master and Commander, Hunt for the Red October – it’s all good stuff. Writing a poem can be a little trickier but the pay-offs are well worth it. I’m an extremely good poet and I like to write poems to boats like they are my girlfriends (most boats are female, sorry fellas). It is important to bear your honest emotions – your true love will recognise their authenticity. To help get you inspired, here’s one of my odes to the radiant, stunning, RV Polaris II. The RV Polaris II is a University of Otago scientific research vessel whose main employ is carrying out marine science and geological field work... and it is one hot mama.
‘Ode to RV Polaris II’
You caught my eye one fateful day. In waters clean and pure you lay.
‘Twas hard to keep myself at bay. My dear RV Polaris II
Your sumptuous curves did make me pray. That I might ride on you one day. Ride you hard please, if I may. My dear RV Polaris II
A fieldtrip sailing far away. O happy, happy, happy day!
I’m just really into boats, eh. My dear RV Polaris II
But when your engine did give way. My beating heart was turned to clay.
The class got automatic A’s. My dear, sweet RV Polaris II
The allusions are a bit cryptic, I know – but I’ll walk you through some of them. “Hard / to keep myself at bay” is a reference to physical desire, and how I feel about seeing the boat for the first time. I want to caress the boat. I want to kiss the boat. But I know I mustn’t – at least not yet – because the harbour master would consider it uncouth. The phrases “ride on you” and “ride you hard” have a hidden double meaning (good poetic technique). They can refer to being a passenger riding on the boat, but can also be read as a sexual reference describing the act of love-making. I want to fuck the boat (lawfully). You had better believe I want to fuck that boat. I hope this helps. Good luck, fellow romantics!!”