"I'm not as judgmental as I look," I confided during conversation about the power of Facebook-friending among senior citizens. Old people can still feel the sparks--that's why I didn't friend him. I believe it.
Old or not, sparks are more than simple attraction. When is the last time you felt the little Pop Rocks in your soul? Your hear skips a beat, your stomach does a triple flip. Mild electrocution. All of these somewhat unpleasant feeling that, for some reason, make you want more. It's an adrenaline rush like you're being chased by hyenas, but you're also winning the Boston Marathon. For me, it manifests in nervous gestures, a leg twitch and a cackling laugh. (Combined with coffee, these manifestations are magnified beyond all reason...thus explaining the essential problem with coffee dates!)
Sparks are a great indicator of compatibility, but they can also be dangerous--as my conversation partner eluded. I watched a video clip of an airplane with malfunctioning landing gear grind down the runway, shooting fiery orange sparks toward the fuel tanks. In order to land, the pilots had to take the enormous risk of explosion. In the end, the plane landed safely--though the landing gear was completely destroyed. On many levels, this is a horrible metaphor for relationships.
My conversation today got me thinking about the longevity of sparks and their importance. At 23, of course I don't know know much about old flames. For now, I'll enjoy eye contact with cute men, and I will regard my Facebook as a giant fire hazard.