Love letters, they’re not meant to be funny, but…

I love you

Lately, my blogging circle has been buzzing with much talk about the demise of handwriting. First Robin Coyle asked Is Cursive Handwriting Dead? Her post was so on-point that WordPress decided to Freshly Press it, oh yes, go Robin!

Then Anne Woodman asked us to celebrate her Unofficial Handwrite-a-Letter Day

On Anne’s post, I made a comment about love letters; those treasures that used to be kept in a pretty box, tied up with a ribbon and stashed somewhere secret and safe. I never had such a box myself, but that doesn’t stop me feeling nostalgic about them; I’m sure they are a rarity now in our world of electronic communication.

All this talk reminded me of a couple of amusing love letter incidents. A friend of mine had one of those stashed boxes of love letters that I mentioned above. She dug it out one day and it was full of love letters she had been sent as a teenager. We had a very jolly afternoon laughing our way through them. I can’t remember most of them, but two particular snippets stuck in my mind –

—————————————–

LETTER 1 – Dear Lucy, I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, love you. I love you so much that it hurts, and if I’ve made any spelling mistakes in this letter, please feel free to correct them.

LETTER 2 – Dear Lucy, last time I saw you, you said you were worried about me because I keep doing dangerous things. I really don’t know what you mean by that, I can only think of one occasion and that’s when I set light to my hand, which isn’t particularly dangerous.

—————————————–

When my daughter was 10, she came home from school on Valentine’s Day, very excited to show me a Valentine card she had been given by a boy at school. At firstΒ I was impressed, the card was handmade, and he had clearly gone to a lot of effort, with declarations of eternal love and carefully drawn hearts. Then I opened the card and was startled to see a different girl’s name inside which had been crossed out, and then my daughter’s name written next to it. I asked her about it, and she said casually, “Oh yes, well he gave the card to her first, but she didn’t want it, so he gave it to me.” She clearly considered this to be a stroke of luck for her. “Hmph, what a chancer!” I said. She looked at me slightly confused. I couldn’t work out whether it was my daughter, or the boy, who had the most to learn, but after some consideration I decided there was plenty of time for all that when she was older. So I let her enjoy the moment, and said nothing more.

Do you have any love letter stories to share? Or would you just like to tell me how much you enjoyed mine? Because that’s fine too.

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64 responses to “Love letters, they’re not meant to be funny, but…

  1. Those are fantastic, Vanessa! πŸ˜€

    Love letters can be cringe-worthy…but, there’s something visceral about them, too, that can’t be duplicated with any other writing. For my first crush, I wrote him a short story about us. It was appropriately teenage-angsty and all it got me was some uncomfortable looks across the few uni classes we shared together. Looking back on it, now, though, it’s rare for me to find that kind of purity in my writing. It was so heavy-handed – like a charging rhinoceros – but still full of so much feeling.

    I hope your daughter gets to experience the singular joy of getting a love letter again, when she’s older. They’re embarrassing and elating and foolish and silly… Yet, there’s no other letter quite like them.

    Great post!

    Like

    • Thanks Mayumi. The unbridled soul-bearing and pouring out of emotions is hard to find anywhere else isn’t it. Most of my daughter’s communications are via facebook or texting these days, I’m not sure if she’ll have the opportunity to receive another paper one!

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  2. β€œHmph, what a chancer!” I said. She looked at me slightly confused. I couldn’t work out whether it was my daughter, or the boy, who had the most to learn ……

    No, still don’t get it – I think you’ve got the most to learn ……

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  3. Vanessa, all of those examples made me laugh out loud!!!! I love the setting fire to his hand part. Truly classic.

    I will have to see if my mom has kept any boxes of my old love letters from my college boyfriend. I would very much dislike if she were to go through them… there were drawings, you see. So embarrassing.

    My best friend from high school is still a good friend, and when we were in our twenties, and I was newly married, she pulled out an old letter I had written to her… we had trouble finding boys to date back in high school, and so I wrote something along the lines of, “In our twenties, we will find boys from all over America and especially international ones.” She thought that was so prescient after I met my English hubby. ; )

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  4. I have none to share, alas, but your examples were priceless and I’m happy to tell you how much I enjoyed them! Btw, I set up a Facebook page. Stop by and “like” me! http://facebook.com/termitewriter Oh, and if I have any typos in this post, feel free to inform me!

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  5. Setting my hand on fire was not all that dangerous–you know I think I went out with that guy, and his cousin who has a motorcycle muffler burn. I got rid of all my love letters and poetry–none of them were as amusing as the two you shared–one guy used to write me poetry talking about my auburn hair–maybe he wanted me to have auburn hair–but in reality it was really just brown with a streak or two of blond when I was going through my Farrah stage (boy does that age me or what?)

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  6. Thanks to my pragmatic self, I have tossed any that I may have had out. I do believe my husband wrote me sweet letters when we first started dating. But he still writes me sweet notes on my birthday and anniversary cards, so what do I need that old stuff for? πŸ™‚

    By the way, I just want to tell you your blog is always such a pleasure to read. Brief, concise, witty posts. Perfect. πŸ™‚

    Like

  7. Such innocent young love is practical as well… He didn’t waste the letter and your daughter was happy. I have some special letters that I keep. Glad I did and sorry, couldn’t share them – too personal. Love your new blog theme.xx

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    • Ha! Indeed, we don’t want anything TOO personal shared here.

      Thank you, it’s the same blog theme, I just changed the header photo and the background colour around the sides. Nice to have a little change now and again!

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  8. Oh dear. Too much! πŸ™‚

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  9. The ones you shared are great. πŸ™‚ As a very late bloomer, there were no early love letters for me, so I can’t share in the angst/humor/sweet reminiscing of such works from a young boy. But I do still have the letters my husband-to-be and I shared while dating in grad school. Those are keepers. πŸ™‚

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  10. Dear Lucy Vanessa,

    I like your post.
    I like your new picture.
    I like what Carrie wrote

    Love,
    Randy

    Like

  11. I love the memories of angst and young love. I didn’t have love letters but I had collected some ‘notes’. Still , they have disappeared like sugar after an ant invasion. I still love hearing about other’s letters, though and the story about your daughter…well, how cute is that!. Reuse, recycle, reclaim? Ha ha. Lovely post, Vanessa. Nice to dredge up old memories.

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    • Thank you. I’ve never heard of an ant invasion resulting in the loss of papers! Maybe it was reading material for them to take back to the nest.

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      • Maybe you were being funny here, Vanessa, but if not, then I feel my grammar-police alter ego awakening. It’s a matter of what the prepositional phrase “after an ant invasion” is seen to modify. It’s actually the sugar that disappeared after an ant invasion, not the papers. The possibility for an ambiguous interpretation is certainly there. Sorry – I tell you, I’m the compulsive Olde Grammarian! Inherited it from my mother, the grammar teacher!

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        • I’m laughing heartily to myself here – I wasn’t joking, I was just being a bit dense! I think it could be read the way I interpreted it, but if I had taken a bit more time I’m sure I would have realised what was meant. Doh!

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          • Sure it could be read the way you interpreted it! Writers have to be really careful about ambiguities like this! A reader can interpret something entirely differently from the way the author conceptualized it! Something like this could even form a source of misunderstanding during a diplomatic negotiation and start a war!

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  12. 1. Love the new photo, you sexy thing you! (Hope this comment doesn’t go to spam because of what I just typed.)

    2. Thanks for the shout out.

    3. I have a love letter from my teenage beau that reads, “Feel free to point out any weak words you would like me to replace with strong words.”

    Great post, Vanessa!

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    • 1. Thank you, and it’s ok, my spam settings are such that they will allow though any compliments, whatever the wording.

      2. You’re welcome (although you probably don’t want any more visitors on your site just at the moment, till things have died down a bit over there!).

      3. Ha! Who knew at the time what his words would lead you to do… πŸ˜‰

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  13. Hi Vanessa, the handwritten love letter is not dead, I just don’t think the content of the modern young persons love letter would really slot into the ‘Mills & Boone’ genre too well. Whilst I don’t have on of my own to share with you, I do have the transcript of one ‘love’ letter that I intercepted from a boy who was in an English lesson I was delivering;

    “Hi bbe (that’s a modern abbreviation for the ubiquitous, contemporary term of endearment – ‘Babe’)
    Am stil thinkin about last nite (this is verbatim – they’re not my regular students by the way) it was sick. I want you inside me NOW!!!! But I really need to tell you something but I dont want u to get mad with me when I tell u. I know we shud have used protection but its jus not the same and I wanted to feel you. Im not pregnant or anything but I went to the clinic last week and got a letter today and thay said that ive got clamidia. Its not that bad really. I hope your not mad with me. Can we talk after lesson.
    Love you xxxxxx”

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  14. Oh, I do so love the “really, really, really, really” love letter. It’s as if the young loverboy needed to meet a word count requirement.

    On another note, I never heard the term “chancer” before. I like it. It sounds so much more charming than “gigolo.”

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    • He was clearly destined to be a writer; trying to get his word count up and worried about spelling things correctly!

      Chancer must be a British word then, it’s not really like gigolo, it’s more a description of someone who is an unscrupulous opportunist, you know, chancing his luck wherever he can. It’s not a word that’s used very often, but it just seemed appropriate there!

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  15. Those are fun letters. Have you ever brought up the valentine card with your daughter since that initial moment? It’d be interesting to see if her perspective has changed.

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  16. Your daughter sounds hilarious! The comedic apple didn’t fall too far from the tree…

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  17. artisticmilestone

    Hi I came here via A clown of fire’s blog. I use to write love letters to my mom and Aunts when I was about 8 to 10 yrs old, quite similar to how the boy wrote the letter but mine goes something like ” I love you so so so so so so very very very much ” lol πŸ™‚ when I read your post it reminded me of those crazy fun times πŸ™‚

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  18. Very amusing post. PS – congratulations on making Le Clown’s blogroll

    Like

  19. Interesting topic, not the usual run of the mill. Perhaps that’s why I go all the way across the pond to read your blog. When your daughter matures you may one day look back on the valentine incident and reflect, “oh I get it now.”

    Back when the earth was young I wrote to my wife to be while we were still teenage sweethearts in between college years. She kept those letters, and its quite puzzling to me why, our divorce was far from amicable. After she passed our children processed her belongings and came across the letters. They all three read them, apparently completely. A few more years later my daughter made a reference to reading them again because it made her feel closer to her mother. The surprising thing about it all is that she not wonder how I might feel about her decision making. We are pretty close in many ways but the one time I mentioned it to her I got the same type of confused look you described from your daughter. Thing is, I don’t think waiting for her to “grow up” will shed any new light.

    Like

    • Well I appreciate you travelling across the pond to read me!

      That’s quite sweet that your wife kept the letters despite the divorce, maybe she thought of them as part of family history and knew that your children may like to read them.

      Like

  20. These are such fun love letter snippets! I confess I don’t have any truly memorable ones like these.

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  21. Hehe, great post! Cheeky little boy πŸ˜› Fancy new piccy, I like it!

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  22. Yeah, I had a few but I had to get rid of them. Some in particular were from my first boyfriend, and I broke up with him rather badly so the letters reminded me of the crushing guilt… it’s very hard to read someone gush about how much they love you when you think back and remember you turned to them while lying in bed after a certain activity and said “Umm… I don’t think this is going to work out”. I like to think I’ve matured since then.

    Like

  23. This was like eating a desert with so many components, but all as rich and tasty as the one before. I thought it couldn’t get better after that second love letter, but your daughter and her card! That was classic!

    Like

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