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 official 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 and the lives of others.
Where have all the
cowboys love letters gone? [It adds a little something if you sing it to the tune of that Paula Cole song. Is it stuck in your head now? You’re welcome.]
We live in an age where the love letter has been replaced with the email or the text message. While some 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, the one from a date telling me he looks forward to seeing 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, a 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. Or maybe he’s just letting you know how much he enjoyed the road trip to that one vineyard, and how he got to spend so much time with you. I tear up just thinking about it! Really.
Further, 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 My Dearest Katharine** on the page would definitely make my lady parts quiver a little bit more than seeing plan ol’ Kate. And that’s just the first few words!
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 the mornings you like watching his nostrils flare while he’s still sleeping. You think it’s cute. But maybe that conversation is one that doesn’t go as smoothly in person. The love letter, instead, lets you express these things and you get to avoid seeing the weird look on his face. But know that the weird look will probably turn into a blush and he’ll take a certain pride knowing his nostrils give you so much pleasure.
Love letters have an enduring and tangible aspect that just isn’t with an email or a text. 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!
The road goes both ways on this one. Men enjoy getting letters just as much as women. Dare I say they even enjoy the well-thought letter even more than many women do?
How many of you get handwritten love letters on a regular basis? Do tell!
*But to that guy, who texted me at 11:30 P.M., telling me he only wanted me to sit next to him in bed and talk and “nothing more.” Yah, you didn’t fool me. Less than subtle and highly offensive.
**But while we’re on this topic, a note of caution; 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 green beans.