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How Computers Killed Love Letters

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Headlined to H4 12/17/09

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I grew up using an ancient form of communication known as letter writing. Don't laugh. In an earlier era, my only choice might have been a hammer, chisel and stone Morse code. Letter writing was not only an art, it was also a skill and the reward for sweating over ever-so-thin Par Avion paper with a fine point pen was to anxiously patiently wait for a response to arrive in a mailbox by racing walking to it once a day instead of clicking on a mouse every ten seconds.

Instant gratification the form of reply took forever weeks if not months to receive. But with it, came the feeling of the paper in your hands, knowing that the words were written in a drunken stupor only for you. Now that technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, the art of writing any kind of letter, but love letters in particular, has all but been murdered by the invention of the computer.

Have you noticed how impersonal e-mail has become? Nobody even mentions my your name anymore in a salutation. Facebook and Twitter? They've all but killed the potential beauty of written expression and reduced our lives to self-promoting vapid Tweets and strange impersonal updates. There's just no romance whatsoever going on in the world of communications. And here I sit with a couple of hundred boxes of mushy old love letters that I just can't bring myself to throw away. Who doesn't?

You may wonder why I'm keeping all these steamy missives from you. Truth be told, these love letters were written by me to and for someone else. Okay, "elses" if you really must know. The amount of written correspondence I have received in my lifetime from lawyers or the IRS my nephew is negligible at best. There, I've just admitted it; I have never received a love letter. In my life.


Sure, over the years I have gotten my share of sappy greeting cards complete with a signature (in ink no less) or cds of musical compilations that were meant to express what a man's vocabulary could not. Those were the precursors to what we do on daily basis now. They are like instant messages with emoticons but carry no real feeling. Worst of all, you have to pay for them. Yeah, I laugh my ass off just reading that you spent $4.99 on that crappy card that sells by the thousands was hand-picked just for me.

I started to realize love letter writing is almost a completely lost art. That I have never been the recipient of a bonafide love letter of any kind may prove support this theory. And even though I'm not sure I'm ready to receive one just yet, I thought I would provide a public service to any man who is verbally paralyzed or emotionally challenged thinking about writing a love letter to me in the future by sharing what I'm hoping I will never read:

Dear Recipient, What's your Name. Sexy or Fill in the Blank Patricia:

Last night with you was really hot especially as I was picturing that babe from the porn website I visit each morning when you're in the shower. When I look into your eyes I always have to remind myself what color they are so I can remember if you ask, all I can see is how we have no future nothing but time.

How about those Lions? It's amazing how quickly time passes when we are working in separate cities together. I think of you every five minutes you e-mail me and I can't wait to shut down my computer see you again sometime in the distant future. Do you think of me as often as I think of that hot babe from the porn website you? Yeah, I'll admit it; I'm a little obsessed with her insecure.

I was telling all the guys about the great sex we had over the weekend you. They can't wait to meet you next week and see for themselves what a beautiful house and breasts you have an incredible woman you are. Don't go out of your way to prepare anything for our party us; just have plenty of beer and bring in pizza be yourself. Don't worry; the guys will all pitch in with the cleanup. So far we've collected $7.50.

That vacation you were planning for us we were talking about? I don't think it's ever going to work out this Christmas. A bunch of my colleagues invited me to go on some yacht in the Caribbean that is staffed completely by hot chicks skiing in Aspen and since I know you had that horrible accident and hate to ski, I wouldn't want to have you show up make you uncomfortable. But, I'll be back just in time for New Year's eve Mardi Gras spring, if something better doesn't come up I promise.

Have I told you how much I miss my single life you? I should really get better at articulating my feelings more clearly. Meeting you has made me a much better liar person. I really want to work on that bringing you to orgasm thing part of myself.

Well, I've gotta get out of this somehow go now. I'm late to a meeting with a girl I just met in a bar. She has a much better body than yours promised to bring me some much needed release clients so that I can continue to treat you in the way you demand deserve to be loved and respected.

I just wanted you to know that my life would be so much less complicated joyful and complete without you in it. Give your friend Amy a pinch on the ass my warmest regards from me, will you?

Yours truly With all my fear love,

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Patricia A. Smith is a writer and artist (and sometimes both at the same time). A former columnist, restaurant critic and cruise line executive, Smith has lived in London, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Egypt, Costa Rica and France. She returned (more...)
 
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Patricia, you are soright! Even though my soulmate... by Larry Retzack on Thursday, Dec 17, 2009 at 1:47:36 PM
I found some High School love letters that were ha... by Gallaher on Thursday, Dec 17, 2009 at 9:55:49 PM
Good stuff.I just threw away some sappy old letter... by wagelaborer on Saturday, Dec 19, 2009 at 10:41:50 AM