Time and effort was applied to express feelings. No question, there are many advantages to the technology that we have today. But I can’t help wonder if society is encouraging lazy behavior when it comes to romance. We now send “E-cards” instead of driving to hallmark and forward “E-vites” rather than mailing actual invitations. “E-harmony” is where we meet future partners rather than the shoe department at Sears.
Granted, to many people, my resistance to change probably makes me sound like the older folks that thought Elvis was offensive with those gyrating pelvic thrusts. For the record, I liked those gyrating pelvic thrusts very much…I am not a prude or afraid of necessary evolution. I long for the romantic gestures of the past.
One evening I spoke with Mister Man about this topic and asked his honest opinion. I stated my thoughts and followed with “Does this mean heartfelt romance is gone forever?”
“I don’t see the problem babe,” he replied. “I love you is still I love you, whether it’s on pretty paper or your cell phone.”
“Really…” I said as I went to grab a box that was hidden under my bed. I dated Mister Man when I was in high school, and yesterday his father gave me a box that was saved in Mr. Man’s parent’s garage for over twenty years. I poured a glass of red wine for us both and my sweetheart’s eyes became curious as he recognized what I was holding. Until that moment, he had forgotten it even existed. “You remember this?”
I asked as he pulled out one of about forty cards that I had written to him so many years ago. The first card showcased a large smiling teddy bear with raining hearts falling from the sky. It said, in my own handwriting: “Happy Anniversary! I love you! I love you! I love you! This has been THE BEST THREE WEEKS OF MY LIFE!” We laughed for over an hour as we reminisced through the box of sappy love letters and poems that I had written him. He had saved everything I had ever given him. Including the twelve page “break up” letter I wrote him with tear drops drawn along the periphery for dramatic effect. Of course, we were back together two days later. The box was full of dried flowers, a baggie with locks of my hair…uhh, that one was a little strange, but hey! Who’s complaining! Romantic, right? Receipts from restaurants, used candles and pictures from us at his senior prom.
“You’re right Buf,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing that we have all of this to look back on. Wow—I admit I am a little weirded out that I kept your hair…” I responded… “Well, I’m a little weirded out that I wrote you three full pages of XXXOOOs. That must have taken hours—didn’t I have a life?”
“Yeah, that is a little weird,” he replied. We both chuckled. “We were just kids, but think about it; if these had been text messages or e-mails, they would never be around today,” I said. “Yup,” he replied; still sorting through our sweet young memories.
At the very bottom of the box was the last letter I wrote him. It read… “Please keep this letter forever and one day when we are old fogies in our rocking chairs, YOU: pencil in hand, drafting table on lap… ME: Microphone in hand singing love songs…We will look through a drawer full of letters and find this one and I will say, I told you so!” The lump in my throat was hard to swallow.
This box was so incredibly special to both of us and looking back at our innocent love and far away dreams was overwhelming. Something that progress and technology could have easily prevented us from having. Back when youth thought that three weeks of dating was worthy of an anniversary card. Nothing is perfect in any relationship and we have our share of struggles, but every morning since our wonderful evening, I have awakened to a loving handwritten note placed beside the coffee pot. And you can bet that I have started a brand new box. I am certain that when we are old fogies in our rocking chairs this box will be priceless. I will keep my flip phone until they no longer make chargers for them, write my songs on notebook paper and remain forever grateful for curly cued I Love You love letters.