Featured in

Featured in: Tiny Buddha, Halifax Media Coop, Fine Fit Day, Simplify the Season, La Presse, Filles, Le Canada-Français

Friday, January 31, 2014

Love is in the air

jennifer donley, Flickr

I was busy with the very unromantic task of cleaning the basement to make room for our new air hockey table when I stumbled upon the epitome of romanticism.

In a dusty shoe box with a sticker that read "Boyfriends and Wooers" were all the love letters I have received in my life before marriage. I hadn't looked at them since we moved to Nova Scotia, and most of them are pretty old (i.e. teenage/early twenties flings).

As I flipped through those letters and read excerpts of each, I was in awe. I had forgotten the intensity of some of those letters. I could not believe the amount of poetry, the metaphors, the yearning serenades.

Reading them, I thought "Well, this restores my faith in the process of seduction through the written word!"

Each of those letters seemed to suggest that chivalry is not dead and that literature still has an appeal...

... or maybe it's just that men will do anything to get into your pants. Those men (and boys, since it starts in high school years) knew the best way to both impress and reach me was to juggle with words. So they wrote to me. Even the ones who despised writing.

In any case, men who wrote to me always were a step ahead of men who didn't.

beatrice dinh, Flickr

I felt like putting some of those letters in a frame on the wall, so interesting they were (of course I would hide the signature, out of respect for their author - but then there are the anonymous ones!)

Even if they are arranged pell mell in the old shoe box, each of them has a unique flavor.

Some are written in pencil on loose sheets (maybe during class). Some are beautifully handwritten in fountain pen. Some are rolled and tied with a red ribbon.

The contents vary just as much as the presentation.

Some are amusing:

"Did you sleep well? I slept very well. I dreamed I was buying a convertible... of course you were the car dealer."

(I don't think I've ever had that kind of dream while crushing on someone!)

Some are poetic: 

"I am intoxicated with you, intoxicated by your radiant beauty [...]
Those are the remnants of my heart which just exploded under the assaults of love."

(I'll try to remember that tomorrow morning when I catch a first glance of my disheveled self in the unforgiving bathroom mirror!)

Some are reassuring:

"You know, even if you were sick yesterday at the party [I had strep throat with a high fever - NOT sexy], you were the most beautiful and the other girls couldn't even hope to come close."

(That must be a sign of true love! I couldn't possibly look good with strep throat and a fever!)

Some leave me speechless:

"You are the 50 foot tall statue, and I am the slave who prostrates before your feet."

(I kid you not!!!)

alykat, Flickr

The intensity might be a reflection of a teenager's heightened emotions (or of the power of hormones, as my mother would say).

Nevertheless, I like to think that love put into words is one of the most beautiful things in this world.

Valentine's Day is coming. Why don't you write something to the one you love?


  1. What a fun post!

    I love love letters and little notes. Over the years I've collected some from WWII era and earlier and they are very endearing. I also have a small collection from some fellas written to me when I was in college. I don't know how often such thoughts are put to paper these days and you can't store texts in a charming shoe box!

    1. Hi Averyl! I find the idea of your collection fascinating!

      I sure hope people still use paper for love letters. :-)

  2. lol! I've saved a lot of letters too! As well as things I have written. One folder is titled, "Present shock - future growth!"

    I rarely look at them. For me, some of the past is too intense to re-visit too often.

    1. I agree Dr. J, some of the past is intense, but in my case it's far enough that I don't mind revisiting. Not very often though. :-)

  3. Look at the books "Griffin and Sabine" for an interesting correspondence!

  4. Wow - you have received some amazing words from previous beaus!!
    For some reason I felt the need to pitch all of my stuff from a guy I dated 5 years and then never saved stuff from the other guys I dated - sort of a bummer to not have any of it. Oh, well, I have all of the cards and notes from my husband.

    1. Sometimes I guess it's therapeutic to get rid of the "evidence".

      Re-reading things from your husband could be fun I'm sure. :-)

  5. Yes, with Valentine's Day looming love is in the air. It is so commercial - should love be commercial?

    Love should be around us at all times and we need to say those three words every day to our loved ones, 'I Love You', such simple words that mean so much.

    Some people still find it hard to say let alone express themselves in a letter.

    Love letters are an important part of romance and emails, text, twitter is not the way to do it BUT then you could say I'm old fashioned!

    All the best Jan

    1. I'm with you, love needs to be expressed at all times, not only once a year!

      And love can be expressed in many words and many ways; "I love you" is only one of the options. :-)

  6. what fun :) I love keeping little notes and all lletters that I have got ;) I also have small very cute notes my sister would write to me when she was a kid (she still writes to me :) ) every-time I read them I get a smile on my face, every year on my bday she would tell me reasons why she loves me :) :) and the number of reasons would be my age. Those little notes are one of my all time favorite bday gifts
    I also love writing and expressing my feelings, I write to my family, parents, friends..I think it is so important to tell people how you feel :)

    1. Yes, old letters in general are a treasure... Love letters are only one example. :-)

  7. I have a different reaction when reading old love letters: they lie. They have their agenda. They reveal to me the fleeting notion of passion and love. It is a fragile thing, that often does not last. It reminds me that I was just as crazy in love as these writers, and that my reality was altered completely.

    I now have a new love, and it came out of nowhere from an unlikely source. I am amazed. I will write him a note this Valentine's Day. He is worthy of it. He makes me feel peaceful. That's a miracle.

    1. It's beautiful craziness, though, isn't it? ;-)

  8. I shall sit alone, in my dark apartment on Valentine's day, while every couple in my apartment complex bangs their head against their bed's headboard. LMFAO!