Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
I needed the picture frame.
Iâ€™d just Â received Â an Â email Â response Â from Â a Â friend whoâ€™d asked my insights and when I answered, the juice just seemed to flow and I didnâ€™t know where it was coming from but hey, there it was. Her response began with:
I cut Â and Â pasted Â her Â first Â lines Â as well Â as the Â rest, which Â went Â into Â more Â detail Â without Â giving Â away Â too much Â person Â info, Â into Â a Â Word Â document Â and Â then added a headline: â€œFor whenever I may doubtâ€¦â€
That Â was Â over Â six Â months Â ago. Â Iâ€™d Â had Â so Â many doubtsÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â at that Â point about my intuition Â that I needed visible evidence Â that Â I Â could Â actually Â be Â right Â about something. So I decided to frame it and hang it next to my main Â computer Â so I could see it all the time. Â 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. Â The two I picked had professional photos from the 1980â€™sâ€” 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 teenagerâ€™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 Â friendâ€™s note of encouragement. Â 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 Â were Â before Â emails Â and text messages took over most of our correspondence.
Iâ€™m convinced Â that Â no Â one Â writes Â love Â letters Â any more. Not that Iâ€™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 Iâ€™m archaic when it comes to that. We want things so Â quick Â and easy and instant gratification Â 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 Â me Â of Â my Â most Â recent Â conversation with AngelSu where we talked about how people crave the romance and want the happy home but donâ€™t do the right things to get it. They want the results desperately but theyâ€™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 Â have Â enough Â ideas Â and Â ideals Â and Â romanticism Â for both of us. I loved creating a special home Â and special time, Â and Â coming Â home Â from Â a Â hard Â day Â at Â work Â to shimmy into lingerie and cook a nice meal with candle- light and wine and fine china and music and fancy napkin folds. Â I Â loved Â the Â picnics Â on Â theÂ beach Â and Â the Â quiet walks under the stars and holding hands and slipping little notes of affection into the next dayâ€™s business papers.
I liked pictures Â of places visited, Â adventures Â shared, smiles.
But no matter how you frame romance, itâ€™s at its best and most Â beautiful Â when the â€œburdenâ€ Â of the effort is shared.