My Dearest Katharine…

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.



25 thoughts on “My Dearest Katharine…

  1. While I live and breathe technology and I myself haven’t written a letter in yonks I’m kinda lamenting the fact that the written letter is more or less dead. Emails and texts are just so easy but definitely not all that personal. Easy and impersonal are the way things are going… wow I’ve got more cynical than I thought I was!

    • I’m a letter lover so I decided to work it into my resolutions for 2012. I plan to write a few letters a month to family and friends. Sure, there are those that will respond via text but there are those of us that would obviously love a letter and would respond, if you and I are examples!

      • It’s been so long since I wrote a proper letter I fear my handwriting has reverted to that of a 3 year old child.

        But … I feel like maybe writing letters is something I should try for 2012.

  2. I love writing letters. I love receiving them even more. An email and a letter could say the same thing, but the letter would mean more; it would feel more real.

    It makes me think of e-books. I can read an e-book and love the words, the story, the characters, but It won’t feel the same tucked under my arm, it won’t add color and life to my bookshelf, I can’t smell its pages; and so, I’ll stick with my paperback books.

    This is a great post. It makes me want to write a letter…my bad handwriting and all.

    • I have to guess it’s related to the fact that I kept a journal. It would have mortified me to know someone read my private thoughts so that must’ve been the one thing I understood, despite my proclivity for snooping!

    • If he’s not, you must leave serious hints. Or maybe you write to him and leave the valediction as “Love, Your Wife Who Is Awaiting the Return Love Letter. Soon.” I mean, he can’t really ignore that…

  3. It is all so true. The letter, maybe a little poetic, the handwriting…it is more than a memento. It is a piece of the other person, given to you. And pretty stickers help, too.

    • I once sent Christmas cards to my high school friends. One of the guys (!) was the one that wrote back, around April, and even included a little drawing of a bunny. I think it had fangs or something, but it was still fun!

  4. I remember a few years ago talking about wanting to write people letters and got laughed at. “No one does that anymore,” I was told. It’s too bad that writing and sending a letter is considered a dying art!

  5. So true! We all need a few more love letters in our lives. Especially to fulfill that romantic need all women secretly have. I am also impressed that you wouldn’t snoop through your parents’ love letters! Although I probably would have been too grossed out to read them. First time visitor but I’ll definitely be back!

  6. Hubbie gave me a cheesy romantic Christmas card. It was just after a huge blowout fight on Christmas Eve. It made me tear up. He’s not much of a writer (bullet points best describes his writing/talking/reading style). But the fact he took the time to find the words to express his love was priceless – even if the words were someone else’s. I think I’d faint if he actually wrote me a love letter.

  7. Other Katharine with an “a”: yes those of us of another day are the lucky ones…typewriters, pens, pencils…I even made quills from pigeon feathers (which was actually bordom, but…)

    Interesting because during a move to make an office…while growling at my husband of 20 yrs for, oh, something…I did manage to refind the Celestial Seasonings metal tin of some of our love letters and stuck them back in the panty hose drawer.

    You’re prince will come…hang in there! ~ Katherine with an E. 🙂

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