WARNING: Long post ahead!!! Thanks to Lynn M Chicago for getting me on this soap box
Doing some catch up reading tonight I stumbled on a post via another blogger's site that seemed to sing to me. It seemed so poetic since it was not only something on my own mind for a while now but my partner and I just discussed this tonight. She has an online space and was contacted by an old roommate/school friend from 10 + years ago. The memories must have been flooding her because she was gone (lol) but very excited and happy that this person she'd wondered about has obviously been curious about her as well. And that is very cool.
However, referring back to the post that brought me here... there is a huge disservice brought to our youth by the now electronic age. I too have letters upon letters from my past that bring me back to a place where I remember being a different person. And sometimes it's nice to travel that road for some reflection, etc. Hell, a song brought me to some of my best times while in the shower today...but I digress...
Anyway, when my partner and I first began a courtin' we would email back and forth. Granted we were long away from the days of school where you'd toss a letter in a locker and we did live in town about an hour or so apart and saw each other at least twice a week and spoke daily. I quantify this because it didn't seem appropriate to physically mail a letter that would obviously get to her or I after we'd then gone ahead to discuss its contents over the phone. Problem is, now I have spent time going through our old email addresses to try to print hundreds of letters..which to an extent is a waste of paper. I feel like I'm rambling.
Bottom line...I sort of feel like we got jipped...we did it to ourselves. And although it was through this medium (email) of communication that we developed into coupledom it still leaves you kind of hurmphf thinking about not having the neatly and crafty folded notes with S.W.A.K written on the outside. Or even the softly worn and yellowing envelope with the postmark validating it's existence and imprint on time.
The kids live on MySpace or the telephone and the eldest was 'talking' to her cuz in CA on MySpace and then called her on the phone to find out why she hadn't responded and then said something in regards to "well hang up and get back on my space so we can talk" HUH!?!?!?!?!
They spend the whole day together in school and then talk on MySpace instead of leaving notes in lockers or stopping by the house.
My partner and I watched Possession (originally a novel by Byatt) with Paltrow and Eckerson. I enjoyed the film in theatre and again although some script was cheezy amongst the modern day characters. But what it reminded me of was that lost art of writing. Also in Kate and Leopold, when Leopold is trying to help Kate's brother woo this woman he's been into and he dictates a letter and the language and tone used is utterly sexy beyond measure. There's this romantic component that is no longer in the equation today and that is terribly sad!!! I've never been interested in romance novels but some fanciful words of a poem or a skilled letter written with the passion of a lover - those are ALWAYS in fashion, are they not!?!?
I too, was once more literary and hand wrote many letters. Often I was inspired to be a little more creative and flow with a different vocabulary from another time to put a colour to what I was trying to express. My love had commented many months ago that she misses receiving my emails from our first year. It's true I have not written nearly enough nor with any depth in over a year and a half and it's not because my feelings have changed it's just a matter of mind. Somewhere I lost that feeling of romance within myself; that everything I'd try to write sounded false or silly and I didn't want to come off ingenuine.
Is it safe to assume that's how others perceive love letters, silly? Writing down how you feel makes it permanent; a commitment, at least for the moment. I've always joked and been teased about my commitment issues but honestly writing has never been about commitment as much as it's been about the moment. It validates how I feel right then and reminds me of that feeling later when I go back. It's history, my history. So, I think I have my answer...it is a matter of feeling foolish and looking the part and that perception keeps us from taking the leap and telling someone how special they are. Can this be changed? Perhaps it's just we all need more practice.