You may have noticed a ghostly absence around PlanetRomeo. Our beloved mascot, Mother, has retired from our web pages if not our hearts. So long Mother!

Mother started as a nickname for our PlanetRomeo server system all the way back in the wild-west days of 2004. We used to have frequent server crashes back then, and rather than getting so angry we threw the machines out the window, we started calling the system Mother. That way we remembered to show her the respect she deserved, even when she’s having a bad day. After a while Mother took on an entire persona of her own; a bit demanding and occasionally tough to handle, but generally full of loving support for her gay children.

However, one of the problems with that persona was that it was very much an inside joke amongst PlanetRomeo staff. To those of us who work here, the idea of a grey-haired old lady watching over PlanetRomeo was hilarious, and an expression of our geeky, jokey, and very German selves. However, as PlanetRomeo grew into the worldwide phenomenon that it is today, we realized that few and fewer of our newer Romeos got the joke. “When I’m in the mood to meet guys, I don’t want to see my mum popping up instead” a typical complaint would read. Others informed us that in their culture, the portrayal of a grandmotherly person in such a context might even be taken as disrespectful.

Our server system has grown as well. The crashes grew less frequent and the system became less of a “mutti” and more of a strongman. After a while, we realized that Mother just no longer felt at home, and we decided we needed to let her retire. She’s worked long enough.

Don’t worry, we’ve found a lovely retirement villa in the Eifel countryside for her. We promise to visit on all the major holidays. We’ll even bring our boyfriend, if she promises not to ask about the wedding plans again!

Spencer – Senior Communications Officer