I just read that if you got married on this past Saturday, June 14, 2014, you were not alone! Turns out it was the most popular day this year to marry. In fact, there were more than 26,000 couples that did. Read about it at http://www.theknot.com
So, what does it take to become a bride and groom? Love, of course. However, there are many steps on the ladder to love and marriage and in keeping with the purpose of this Blog Post, everything written here is for preserving whatever memories and mementos you have to be displayed in your family museum. Let’s take those steps beginning with the Love Letter.
Is the art of the love letter dead or just dying? If more people knew about the great love letters of the past, maybe a few would take the trouble to put pen to paper and create something that the recipient will keep as a treasure and place in their family museum.
Throughout history, the love letter has allowed us to reveal our true feelings, keep close when far away from home and rekindle the flame when love is no longer new. For example, letters of Pliny the Younger offer a warmly human picture of private life in Rome circa AD100, particularly when writing to his adored wife Calpurnia: "You say that you are feeling my absence very much, and your only comfort when I am not there is to hold my writings in your hand and often put them in my place by your side... I too am always reading your letters, and returning to them again and again as if they were new to me – but this only fans the fire of my longing for you. If your letters are so dear to me, you can imagine how I delight in your company. Do write as often as you can, although you give me pleasure mingled with pain."
The Love Letter is the glue in the book of romance.
A love letter is a romantic way to express feelings of love. Whether delivered by hand, mail, or romantically left in a secret location, the letter may be anything from a short and simple message of love to a lengthy explanation of feelings. Love letters may move through a wide range of emotions - devotion, disappointment, grief and indignation, self-confidence, ambition, impatience, self-reproach and resignation. And don’t you despise those letters that instantly made the recipient aware of the letters purpose? Love can be “as transient as the clouds.”
The love letter continued to flourish in the first half of the twenty-first century. Before the wide use of telecommunications, letters were one of the few ways for a couple to remain in contact, particularly in wartime: when one of them was posted or stationed some distance from the other, the "being apart" often intensified emotions. There is a wonderful article in the Reader’s Digest Special Edition, World War II. On pages 64 & 65, “Finding His Joy” is about love letters. http://www.rda.com/news/readers-digest-publishes-commemorative-wwii-issue
In the second half of the century, with the coming of the permissive society and the instantaneous Information Age, the love letter became dissociated with love. Even in the electronic age, however, the humble love letter may possibly still play its part in life, if in new formats (as exemplified in the movie, “You’ve Got Mail); and on the Internet, where one can find numerous sites where people obtain advice on how to write a love letter. Sometimes letters are preferable to face-to-face contact because they can be written as the thoughts come to the author's mind. This may allow feelings to be more easily expressed than if the writer were in the beloved's presence. Further, expressing strong emotional feelings to paper or some other permanent form can be an expression within itself of desire and the importance of the beloved and the lover's emotions.
Perhaps any correspondence is a kind of love affair, while by contrast, a Twitter or Tweet, (called telegraphese; like the telegraph with its abbreviations and code words) is infectious. But the sign-offs such as, LOL! B cool B N touch, reads like a disinterested lover with an indistinctive attitude.
As with any letter, a love letter could be written in any structure or style.
As letters became more popular as a means of communication, guides sprang up accordingly about just how one was to write a letter, what was proper, and what was out of the question. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/have-we-lost-the-art-of-writing-love-letters-2213865.html
Some stationary companies produce paper and envelopes specifically for love letters. Some of these are scented creating a whole new sensory experience in letter reading, though most people prefer to spray them with their own perfume. (Another movie typifying the use of perfume was in the scene from “Grease” where Marty sprays her love letter to her latest pen pal solider, its scent makes Sandy grimace.) Scenting a letter emphasizes in the receiver's mind the physical connection that occurred between them in this form of communication and thus may strengthen the overall impact of the letter.
My love letters are something to be desired! No stationary here. Just good old notebook paper. Says a lot about the guy, doesn’t it. And naturally, the guy wouldn’t scent his letters with his cologne. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on them, these three (Frank, Bill & Chuck) that I still have the letters from. And truthfully, I don’t think I had intended to keep any of them. As I had written before, my father kept everything. So perhaps in my haste to get rid of them, he found them, put them away, and when that day came along when I would find them, dad would probably smile and say, “See, Lizbit. I knew one day you would want to have these back.” Well, maybe and maybe not. So when I felt inclined to read them, I truly found out a lot about myself. And about relationships. Here are a few of them, all written during school days. The first one was from Frank. Being that I lived out in the country surrounded by farms, it should have not be the shock it was when he introduced himself to me in homeroom and told me he was a pig farmer. This first love lasted two years. Bill was the second love. After re-reading his letters, I realized the guy was nuts. His griped about how he was always board with school, with his friends, with his life. Glad that relationship broke up. Then came Chuck. I thought for sure this one I was going to marry, but did not. What heartache I had over him. Then all love letters ceased to be. It didn’t seem like the thing to do while dating. Phone calls were the paper, dating was the stamp. Of course, this time was well before the electronic age of communication. I couldn’t begin to imagine how these relationships would have developed. So . . .
Is the love letter in danger of extinction? That depends. With so many people connected online, we need to put a little more effort in to making our emails creative, even romantic. You never know. We could be entering the rebirth of the love letter but in a new form. With that much history behind love in the written form, think about how would you preserve your e-love letters? Do you make a hard copy? Do you save it on disc? What about those texts, twitters and tweets? How to you save them? What form of recorded love will be passed down to the next generation? Any suggestions? However your letters are written, sent and saved, remember, they need not be fancy or poetic — just straight from the heart. - See more at: http://www.match.com.
Next Post: First Date, The Proposal and Engagement Ring