- Fermina Daza.
- I am here.
- We have written too many letters and it has been too long. So now, crowned goddess, I make this pledge. I swear my undying loyalty and my love forever, and I humbly ask you to do me the great honor of marrying me.
(Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez - Image by Barbara Rodriguez)
Few men have ever loved a woman as profoundly as did Florentino Ariza. That’s just how he was, an intense man who, upon meeting the love of his life, pours his heart out with pen and paper and delivers it, wrapped in scented envelopes. But alas! Poor Florentino. His clandestine letters fail to conceal his ugliness and when Fermina sees him, she rejects him, unequivocally. Yes, the enamored protagonist is a bald, myopic man with thick glasses and a pointy mustache; he wears the same dark, antiquated suit, and will not lose the black satin umbrella, even when it's not raining.
Florentino is an ugly man.
Fortunately, he is also a stubborn man, willing to wait until his death because for him "there is no greater glory than to die for love". While he waits, he consoles himself with six hundred women whom he loves only "from the waist down” and thus his heart remains faithful to his one and only true love. Fifty-five years must pass for Fermina to become a widow and then, only then, Florentino declares his love again. This time, praise be! she accepts; but I wonder, dear readers, why does she? Did Fermina, old as she was, simply get tired of his relentlessness? Or had his ugliness soften with aging and he no longer seem so ugly, especially when she, herself, has lost her own lost beauty? I don’t know, but I bet if Florentino had loved Fermina today, in the times of the iPhone, instead of the times of cholera, he would have fared better.
First of all, Florentino would have chosen his best pic and he would have promptly Photoshopped it to achieve the "look" of Mickey Rourke - ugly but irresistible.
With that selfie, he would have created a profile on Facebook and Twitter, declaring himself a poet. His passionate poems would have been published for the whole world to witness his immense love. His eloquence would soon have gained him thousands of followers and romantic fans, willing to be loved by him, even, "from the waist down". He would, of course, be faithful to Fermina and would put a little heart on his profile, indicating he was “in a relationship” even though he wasn’t. And Fermina, knowing that she was his inspiration, would become his follower, if only out of curiosity.
Florentino would be delighted to discover Whatsapp and Messenger. He would immediately bombard his beloved with endearing messages, sprinkled with emoticons instead of wasting time on those looooong, newspaper-like letters. And oh joy! he would not have to wait in anguish for her response, which would arrive seconds later.
Our bard’s talent would be enhanced with applications such as Be Mine, which provides custom graphics for even the most illiterate to be used in virtual Valentine cards: hearts of different shapes and colors, kissing lips, cupids, flowers and chocolates aimed to embellish the text, Fermina would have to smile at that teddy bear declaring his everlasting love.
And Florentino , who was not a musician, would sweeten the delicate ear of his darling with Valentine Radio, adding a vast selection of songs emitting love and romance, to his verses.
Our stiff dandy, unfit for dancing, could now dance a virtual Danzón with the help of Love Booth, the application that allows users to send their lovers dancing characters. He would insert his Rourke pic, choose his costume, the song, and presto! Fermina would have to be moved by the dancing Florentino.
Yes, with all that, Fermina would be madly in love with her twitter-poet-dancer pursuer. And so, blinded by such love, she would come to that first date, to meet him in person in some quiet romantic restaurant.
Florentino would tremble with the fear of being rejected. He would try to hide his ugliness with his bouquet of red roses, the menu, and the napkin. Would his thinning hair, pointy nose and black bird eyes repel her?
I bet not, my dear readers. I suspect so because I can already see that scene: Florentino , sick with love for her, cannot eat anything. Fermina, sick with love for her iphone, does not take her eyes off the small screen all nigh long.
– Fermina Daza – he would text her, trying to get her attention –-. We have written too many texts and too many tweets, and it has been too long ... and I ask with all humility, would you do me the great honor of marrying me?
–Sure – she would answer with a click, sealing the deal.
Do tell me, dear readers, do you find your iphone helpful in matters of the heart?