Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
I needed the picture frame.
I’d just received an email response from a friend who’d asked my insights and when I answered, the juice just seemed to flow and I didn’t know where it was coming from but hey, there it was. Her response began with:
I cut and pasted her first lines as well as the rest, which went into more detail without giving away too much person info, into a Word document and then added a headline: “For whenever I may doubt…”
That was over six months ago. I’d had so many doubts at that point about my intuition that I needed visible evidence that I could actually be right about something. So I decided to frame it and hang it next to my main computer so I could see it all the time. The problem was, I needed a frame.
Several years ago, my someone in my office got rid of some old picture frames, some fairly nice, and asked if I wanted any since they were going into the garbage. The two I picked had professional photos from the 1980’s— of Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney.
I later did what any good mom would do and took the photo of Cheney as a younger man and slipped it into my teenager’s history book so it would be staring at her when she opened the textbook in class.
But before that, I recycled the frames to hold a letter I treasured. A love letter. One of the two I received from my ex in the two-plus decades we were together.
So it was the frame holding the love letter that I chose to use for my friend’s note of encouragement. It made me realize how writing love letters has become a lost art.
As a writer, I am, of course, quite fond of them. I wrote hundreds to my ex during the course of our court- ship. And those were before emails and text messages took over most of our correspondence.
I’m convinced that no one writes love letters any more. Not that I’d ever put them in my own handwriting now, anyway, because my penmanship is horrible, but the idea of ink on paper and pouring your heart out still ap-peals to me, to my senses.
Maybe I’m archaic when it comes to that. We want things so quick and easy and instant gratification these days. We want a response and we want it now.
Maybe the lost art of writing love letters is really the lost art of romance?
That reminds me of my most recent conversation with AngelSu where we talked about how people crave the romance and want the happy home but don’t do the right things to get it. They want the results desperately but they’re not willing to do the work it takes to be romantic or develop a relationship.
I think, being a born romantic, that I probably made the romance aspect easy for the men in my life. I seemed to have enough ideas and ideals and romanticism for both of us. I loved creating a special home and special time, and coming home from a hard day at work to shimmy into lingerie and cook a nice meal with candle- light and wine and fine china and music and fancy napkin folds. I loved the picnics on the beach and the quiet walks under the stars and holding hands and slipping little notes of affection into the next day’s business papers.
I liked pictures of places visited, adventures shared, smiles.
But no matter how you frame romance, it’s at its best and most beautiful when the “burden” of the effort is shared.