My workplace is limiting my email storage so I’ve been forced to look at emails I wrote back in the day. It’s fun to see how unprofessional I was when I was a wee little Kate, making my foray into the business world. Like the time I used 17 exclamation points in one message. That was really cool. I’m sure the Vice President who got my three-paragraph thank you email about lunch thought that was really cute. But I digress. It was during this clean-up that I came across a rather large group of emails from my last boyfriend in ::coughcough2007coughcough::. It would have been weird to go through them, re-read them, re-live my mindset from back then, so I quickly glanced at a couple then did a mass delete and it felt good. But! I was reminded of something missing in my life.
Where have all the love letters gone? [When I think these words they are to the tune of that Paula Cole song and it adds a little something. You should try it.]
We live in an age where the love letter has been replaced with the email or the text message. While I could use this as a platform to lament the use of the email or the text message, I will not. You see, I actually like them quite a bit. As opposed to a letter, they’re something you can get unexpectedly, any time of the day. That text message I got after a grueling meeting from a date telling me he looks forward to see me tonight? Yah, I’ll never object to it.
However, it’s the sheer volume of text messages and emails, and the obvious ease of sending them, which makes the love letter special, coveted, and missed. It says something when your significant other takes the time to pull out the nice paper, the nice pen, and spend the time to come up with the perfect way to describe your golden locks or the way he goes all mushy when you tilt your head just so.
- Love letters provide the perfect opportunity for you to use your lover’s full name in a way that’s really sexy. In romance novels, the heroine always notices when the hero uses her first name for the first time. I don’t know about you, but seeing Katharine on the page would definitely make my lady parts quiver a little bit more than seeing Kate. And that’s just the first word! Nicknames are acceptable but I would caution anyone that the love letter is not the place to test out that new “pumpkin cheeks” name you thought of when you saw your loved one bending over in the supermarket aisle to reach for that can of peas.
- Love letters are an acceptable place to describe that weird quirk about your lover that you never knew how to say in person. Or maybe shouldn’t say. Like the fact that in he mornings you like watching his nostrils flare while he’s still sleeping. You think it’s cute. But imagine the conversation if you were to say that to his face. Awkward! The love letter, instead, lets you express this and avoid the strange look he might give you. It might then even turn into a blush and he’ll take a certain pride in his schnoz, knowing it gives you so much pleasure.
- Love letters have an enduring and tangible aspect that just isn’t with an email or a text. I once found the love letters my dad wrote to my mum. She keeps them in a box and I have to tell you, I was (still am) impressed with my 12 yr. old self and the fact that I respected their privacy and didn’t read them. This, coming from the snoop of all snoops (I was a really awesome babysitter but my gawd, such a snoop! “I wonder what’s in this drawer!”). Still, it was very romantic and while I don’t know if she ever references them, it’s the idea that she could. No digging through filed emails or trying to remember that sweet text message from five years ago. The letters are there, in your hands, always available, and looking more loved and cherished over time. Someday, your kids might even think they’d be great scrapbook material! That wouldn’t be embarrassing or anything.
This is not exhaustive, but I hope you get the point. There should be no objection to the love letter unless your dearest took out a restraining order. So I encourage you to go forth, put the pen to the page, and resolve to write more love letters in 2012. The world as we know it is coming to an end so it’s not like you have anything to lose.