28 TODAY • Tuesday • February 14, 2006 TODAY • Tuesday • February 14, 2006 29
WEE TECK HIAN
LIN YANQIN Lunch Actually began in 2004, organis- FELIX CHEONG PACK IN CLICHÉS
It’s the difference between letting your emo-
email@example.com ing 20 to 30 dates a month. It now coordinates firstname.lastname@example.org The quickest way to turn off your nearest and tion gush and damming it up so that its energy is
up to 350 dates per month and has arranged dearest is to use clichés like they’re going out of held back, becoming all the more powerful
SINGLE, lonely and dreading Valentine’s a total of more than 2,800 dates in all for its FRANTIC that you haven’t bought a gift for your fashion. Such as this Celine Dion howler: because it’s being controlled. Lines like these:
beloved? Or lamenting that your pockets aren’t
Day? roughly 1,000 members. deep enough for that candlelight dinner? Here’s Near, far, wherever you are I am hurt by your leaving
The good news is that there are now Violet Lim, the agency’s executive di- one way to redeem yourself: Write a love poem. I believe that the heart does go on My heart is breaking and bleeding
hundreds of companies out there that real- rector, said this is a sign of the times and the Nothing beats the commercial pull of
ly, really, love you and your dollar. result of the increasingly busy lifestyles of a website (www.romancingsingapore.com), Kingsley Choo. a mem- Valentine’s Day like something said from the She sounds like she’s asking her lover to are not only cheesy, but also seem caught up in
With restaurants, corporations and event young Singaporeans. she suggested. Similarly, taking romance to the fair- ber, you’re heart. But before you put pen to paper, here are wear a pacemaker fitted with the global posi- the whirl of their own importance. Channel the
three tips on how not to write a love poem. tioning system. angst instead into an image and you achieve a
management companies organising every- “They work long hours and, when it Others in the speed-dating business such ways, the Young Eagles Golf Academy is or- saying to the So don’t use hackneyed phrases; wrack your distance from the intensity of the emotion:
thing from speed dates to golf lessons, sin- comes to the weekend, they just want to as Singapore company Soulite and the Savoir ganising a trip to Batam where singles can world: ‘I have RHYME FOR THE SAKE OF RHYMING brain and think of something original.
gles have never felt more wanted. chill out with people they already know … they restaurant also indicated that it wasn’t easy pitch their case. an amazing career, Has there ever been a graver misunderstanding Start by tapping into the five senses. You left / With the finality of a key
Want proof of this love? can’t be bothered to make the effort to meet to rush love in the Lion City. Romancing Singapore will only play I’m too busy to date’.” of poetry than the notion that it must rhyme? In Juxtapose an abstract feeling with a sense Snapped in the lock.
About 170 companies organise events new people,” she said. “I think maybe Singaporeans matchmaker between the singles and the In contrast, the Social Development Unit case you haven’t heard: Nobody writes like experience so that the reader can connect at
Shakespeare anymore. once with what love feels like. For instance: This metaphor of key and lock becomes your
with Romancing Singapore, a government In contrast, speed dating has are shy and they may prefer more businesses chasing them, nothing more. is seen as a government-driven initiative and, When you rhyme for the sake of rhyming, dam, your way of pulling back from self-
initiative, to tap into the 600,000-strong sin- not sent pulses racing. I might have personal, one-on-one activities,” “If the response to the events is poor, then thus, as a less attractive option. you run the risk of twisting your sentence struc- Love hurts, like the cut of light absorbed pathos.
gles market in Singapore. Big O, a restaurant that has to kiss a lot said Soulite’s finance manager K it’s up to companies to be creative in their “Initiatives like this go against the idea that ture. That is, to rhyme the poem you must, so When my eyes first wide open. Following these tips doesn’t necessarily
Want pragmatic love, Singapore-style? always participated in Meet-and- S Lee. Naturally, his company is services and marketing,” said Chow. “For ex- courtship and marriage is supposed to be a pri- that no more does it collect dust. Which is, of guarantee that you’ll write a good love poem,
“If each single person were to spend Match, Romancing Singapore’s
of frogs and studying the opportunities. ample, our silent dating event is well-received vate matter,” she said. course, a ridiculous way of speaking. This line makes the claim that love hurts, in but it’s a start. Hit the library and check out, for
still not meet Also, you may sometimes forgo sense just to the same way as that moment of blindness after instance, the anthology of love poetry by
$100 in one year on singles’ activities, that speed-dating event, said it re- If speed-dating isn’t your scene, because people have never done it before.” Singles, it seems, prefer the private and per- get the rhyme going, such as this couplet from sleep, before light returns sight to us. Perhaps Singaporean and Filipino writers titled Love
would be $60 million worth of business, con- ceived almost no response for the the prince. how about speed kayaking? So what makes a single take the plunge sonal approach. the Spandau Ballet hit, Gold: this pain is bearable, short and sudden. Perhaps Gathers All (2001). Get a feel for how love is cel-
servatively speaking,” said Romancing Sin- event on Valentine’s Day this year. Interestingly enough, more after learning what a company has to offer? Jaycee, a customer service associate, is not. It depends on how you take the analogy. ebrated and agonised over by different writers.
gapore’s managing agent Andrew Chow. “The response wasn’t good — Jaycee singles are turning to such activ- Associate Professor Paulin Straughan, of not charmed by speed dating and group activ- My love is like a high prison wall So doodle phrases and expressions and see There’s no shortcut to success because orig-
He hopes to create a genuine “dating right from day one. We actually ities, organised by groups such the Department of Sociology at the Nation- ities. “I might have to kiss a lot of frogs and still You could leave me standing so tall what you can come up with. inality, if you treasure it, only comes from know-
ing what’s been written before. Good luck!
industry” in Singapore. Singles, at present, do better with dating agencies and we get as Heartstrings Engage, which raises money al University of Singapore, feels that agen- not meet the prince,” she said. The comparison between love and a prison POETRY IS ALL ABOUT FEELING
are being wooed by about 450 companies, reservations every week,” said the restau- for its charitable efforts through such events. cies such as Lunch Actually do well because But otherwise, the business of love looks wall has nothing to do with leaving the person This is another myth that ought to be laid to rest. Felix Cheong has published three books of
with dating agencies such as It’s Just Lunch, rant’s managing director, Leng Bogensperger. “Going to a restaurant can be boring, they sell a lifestyle desirable to singles. promising. “As long as our young profession- “standing so tall”. So write as you speak, in a Yes, poetry is about feeling but more important- poetry and was the recipient of the National
Lunch Actually and Two to Tango leading “Speed dating is hard to coordinate because but kayaking or scavenger hunts are more in- “They market themselves as a hip-and- als remain enslaved by work, there will always conversational tone. And don’t force a rhyme, ly, it’s about emotional distancing, the ability to Arts Council’s Young Artist of the Year
the pack. a large number, at least 10, is needed.” teresting because people are trying some- happening service catering to the young, be a demand for dating services,” said Assoc just so that it “sounds” like a poem. talk about an emotion without succumbing to it. for Literature Award in 2000.
Love has never been so well organised. It isn’t enough to just list the event on thing new,” said Heartstrings co-director busy professional,” she said. “So if you are Prof Straughan.