I come bearing unfortunate news. The grand gesture is dead. You know the one I’m talking about – the grand romantic gesture: The one that gets you the girl, names you her knight in shining armor, and allows you to walk off into the sunset with your princess. Yeah, that one – it’s dead. And as a result, all gestures with intentions of leading to romance are failing… Womp. Here’s why:
Back in October 2011, Officer Chris Collins pulled over Evangelina Parades for speeding in Chicago. The woman was issued a $132 ticket and sent on her way. Collins, 27, then used the ticketing information he had on file to search her records, find her address, and ask her out. He left a note on the windshield of her car (which was parked outside her home) that read as follows:
“It’s Chris … that ugly bald Stickney cop who gave you that ticket. I know this may seem crazy and you’re probably right, but truth is I have not stopped thinking about you since. I don’t expect a girl as attractive as you to … even go for a guy like me, but I’m taking a shot anyways. But hey, I did cost you $132 — least I can do is buy you dinner.”
Let me just say that initially, when I heard this story I thought, how romantic! A prince who couldn’t stop thinking about a pedestrian! How Wills & Kate! Then, I started to write this post and the sentence “[he] used the ticketing information he had on file to search her records, find her address, and ask her out” gave me the creeps. I suppose despite giving his best effort at a grand and romantic gesture, this 27-year-old hopeful really just creeped out an entire nation of women. So much so that websites are polling the level of creepiness (how many times can I use the word “creep” in a paragraph?).
Needless to say, Parades is totally freaked out, so much so, that she has filed a lawsuit against the hopeless romantic law enforcement officer. The lawsuit states that the letter from Officer Collins has caused Parades to “suffer great fear and anxiety[...]” It goes on to note that the “Plaintiff could not believe that a police officer would use his access to her personal information to find her home and stalk her.” Now, I find the word stalk a bit harsh, but when you go leaving notes on people’s cars outside their homes, I guess stalk is the only thing that comes to mind.
This is an extreme case. However, it seems that women are becoming more and more jaded to romantic gestures. I go to the supermarket and even the slightest smile gets you a side eye from me. In fact, most of the people I’ve dated have come from a mutual friend or at least an acquaintance. I’ve only ended up in one long-term relationship that started from a meet-cute situation. So, is my side eye warranted or is the movie-style meet-cute a thing of the past?