So Micheal Jordan too wrote love letters. The letter which was revealed in 2011 was clumsily written, yet with a sincere expression of his love for the girl. Not only did it have lots of grammatical errors; it also revealed Michael Jordan as less of the stud he is today. Yet, with all the “weak vibe” and the grammatical errors, the girl kept that letter for 18 years!
Even the ardent social network converts will agree. Don’t you miss the time of love letters, mostly at school? The face of love was so tangible and inseparable from pen and paper. The poor chap whose heart was bleeding in love, often took his time and chose his words carefully on what was always attractive on paper.
Remember writing pads? Yes, the lovesick person poured out his or her sweet-nothings on the cutest of them ever made. The words were at times grandiose, bombastic and misplaced yet somehow, the lovelorn were still able to squeeze them into their letters.
Among the most ludicrous, yet acceptable phrases, were ‘atmospheric cosmogony’, God knows what that even means! Most letters were penned, not typed and the writer would always mention “as I pen this letter…” It would also be uncool not to use the word ‘contemplating’ just as failure to sound poetic labeled you not cool. All these things made the impressionable young girls go crazy over a dude.
The receiver was moved, so moved that he or she, in most cases, savoured the moment for quite some time. If they knew who it was from, they would postpone opening it until later when they were more relaxed.
That letter would, in the end, become a reference book of sorts, for one kept going back to it over and over, sometimes for years. That was either to refresh memories of the girl or guy one broke up with, or reminding oneself of how it all started to the present day. How sweet!
High school ‘sosh’ between students from single sex schools were quickly followed up by sheepish and smooth bits of romantic correspondence. If you had your love interest in the same school you studied, hearing the rustle of a paper under your pillow as you lay your head down to sleep was pleasant. There was even a brief moment of stardom for the receiver if your name was read out at assembly among those who had received letters.
A letter written in poor grammar was a source of laughter. A girl and her friends would hurdle around a boy’s letter and have a good laugh. So, you had to be careful not to embarrass yourself, since the letter had a bigger audience.
Little wonder, students who were wordsmiths, often referred to as moving dictionaries, minted a lot of money, ghost-writing these letters. In their absence, the dictionary, songs of Solomon or Mills and Boons novels were often pulled out to inspire the writer with some lame pick-up lines.
The handwriting also mattered a lot. Cut-out shapes of hearts and stars from ordinary white paper with a rosy scent of natural flowers or a toilet freshener topped it. Some even went as far as colouring the paper or writing pad in different shades, as they desired. Secret codes like “Bombay”, which was translated as “Both My Two Breasts Are Yours”, added the romantic appeal to these letters
A common occurrence in girls’ dormitories was that of girls screaming in delight upon listening to a particular love song simply because their boyfriends had once dedicated the songs in a letter. Yet that shows just how important it was to dedicate a popular love song to the object of your love. Back then, a dedication from at least a boy band like Boys II Men or New Edition would do you wonders.
Though words and feelings continue to be the way of expression between two souls today, there is less time today.
Dating in the 21st Century is faster and much easier. People do not have time. Why hustle with writing down your feelings when you can let someone know you are interested in then with the simple click of a button? Love messages have become shorter and very spontaneous in delivery, killing the fun that came with the anticipation.
Today, brisk and semi-detached emails alongside SMS on mobile phones have replaced that. You just cannot capture enough soul and passion in a text message.
The idea of writing such letters, in certain circles, is considered old-school and misplaced. They say trends and fads go and come back. Technology aside, is it just possible that one day we will see the beauty that filled those letter-writing days and, perhaps, revert to them.
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