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Don't misfire in love: Use CyberCupid

Message to Cupid: dump the quiver of arrows. Get a computer equipped with a mouse, a modem and Internet access.

It's the Information Age, the Digital Era, the Internet revolution. You can keep the wings and the loin cloth.But it's time to face the fact that your bag of tricks needs updating. Time to acknowledge Internet technology is simply a tool. And when it comes to looking for love or firing off heart-felt missives, the Internet can't be beat.

It's fast, convenient and doesn't have closing hours. There's surfing involved, but you don't have to drive all over town just to stand in a seemingly endless flower or candy line.

Or, spend hours in the random roulette of club and social group hopping, hoping to stumble on a special someone who shares your interests.

In no time you can order a bouquet delivered to his or her doorstep, send an electronic card with custom lovey-dovey musings, or search a database of singles for a soulmate who likes enacting medieval jousts just like you do.

That alone should keep errant arrows to a minimum.

Of course, technology can also save your hide if by chance you forget that THIS SATURDAY is Valentine's Day (see Mark's Apology Generator below).

Here's how to play CyberCupid:

Meet a sweetie

If you have already have sweetie but he or she is far away, check into Kinko's

videoconferencing service. For $37.50, the regular weekend rate, you can place a point-topoint videoconference call. The person you're calling has to be at a site that is registered with the Sprint videoconferencing network. You can check Kinko's sites around the world at (http://www.kinkos.com).

Reservations can be made up to 24 hours in advance by calling 1-800-669-1235. One Utah location offers the service: 1731 W. 2100 South.

If you don't have a sweetie, you can try to find one at Utah Singles (http://www.utahsingles.com). For $9.95 a month, you can post a personal Web page profile, search a singles database (200 people are registered currently), participate in chat rooms, exchange email with other members and receive a newsletter.

Flowers

You can order a real bouquet at FTD Flowers Online at (http://www.ftd.com) or send virtual flowers courtesy of the Starnet Flower Server (http://www.azstarnet.com/flowers).

Simply enter the recipient's email address, a message and choose from several arrangements. The good thing about a virtual bouquet is it won't ever die.

Candy and Food

Time's running out for placing an online order, but you might want to check out Great Food

Online (http://www.greatfood.com/products/grtfood/html/gffeatur.htm). You can order Maine lobster, specialty chocolates, cakes and candies.

There's also Godiva Chocolates at (http://www2.godiva.com) and Huckleberry Candy from Montana (http://www.made-in-montanacandy.com/huckleberry.htm).

If the order will arrive late, see Mark's Apology Note Generator below.

Gifts

How about a special Valentine's Day screensaver? You'll find several ready to download at (http://lesuper.com/screensavers/ holiday.html).

And Commerce Works Inc. has several great gift ideas at (http://www.4mylove.com) - from a $75,500 1972 Dino 246GT Ferrari to chocolate roses that cost less than $50.

Cards

For well-equipped lovers, there's the Awesome Musical Valentine site (http://www.marlo.com/holiday/v/vale.htm).

You can choose from 13 card styles, add a custom message and let the system do the rest. You can send the card directly to your love or send an email message that informs the person a Valentine is waiting for him or her on the site. You both need topnotch computers to enjoy this site.

Kinko's offers animated Valentine cards at its Web site (http://www.kinkos.com). It will seal the message with a kiss, too.

The Romeo and Juliet Web site, a plugger for the movie featuring Leonard DiCaprio, features postcards of film scenes. Each postcard includes theme like love or hope or forgiveness. You pick a card, write a message, fill in the email address and it wings its way home. (http:// www.romeoandjuliet.com/test/ ecard.htm)

Poetry and other mushy sentiments

Sugarplums is a catchall site that has everything you need to make the romantic most of the day: a history of St. Valentine, a guide to aphrodisiacs, passionate poetry, music for lovers, romantic recipes, how to say "I Love You" in different languages, and so on. (http://www.w2.com/docs2/act/food/ sugarplums/holidays.html). You can browse the Love Poetry & Quotes site to find just the right words to express how you feel (http://mustang.wyoming. eaglequest.net/(tilde)mj/uce/mjl-poetry.html).

The Cyrano Server is famous. It offers an ad-lib like form that lets you pick nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc., that it pops into a custom Valentine card or love letter that can then be mailed to your paramour. If things don't work out, come back: there's a break-up version, too. (http://www.nando.net/toys/cyrano.html).

The Sacbee Luv-O-matic site is similar. Select words to fill in blanks on an electronic form and it instantly generates a custom message. The selections range from the heartfelt to the hateful. Your choices after the phrase "how much I . . . " are: love you; love alimony; love life without you; never liked your haircut. Who knows. It may be just what you're looking for.

On the other hand . . .

Mark's Apology Note Generator (http://net.indra.com/(tilde) karma/formletter.html).

This is the place to go when you're in the doghouse. You simply fill in the electronic form, choosing phrases that fit how sorry you are for whatever it is you did. Click a button and - presto - another relationship saved.

If that doesn't work, you might want to visit Joe's Amazing Relationship Problem Solver (http://stuckys.mscs.mu.edu/(tilde)carpent1/probsolv/rltprob0.

html). Answer a series of yes and no questions and Joe will tell you exactly how to solve your love dilemma.

And if you think Valentine's Day stinks, join Tricia Gdowik at the Anti-Valentine's Day Page (http://www.netreach.net/(tilde)trishy/ vday.html) She points out that "Cupid rhymes with Stupid" and argues the holiday is simply a ploy by Hallmark and candy companies to make a buck.