Archive for ‘Etiquette’

February 10, 2012

Lamentations on the lost art of the love letter…

Today I was searching for the most perfect card to get the Greek.  Now, the timing of this seems ideal, so first and foremost,  I’d like it to be known that Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday that I do not endorse.  But last week, he bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers “just because”, and you must understand that me receiving flowers from the Greek occurs about as frequently as a leap year.  So, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if he were to discover a lovely card from me in his workbag one morning?  Which got me thinking about how unusual it is to receive a love letter nowadays.  This saddens me.  Some may think that love letters are archaic or old-fashioned, a relic from the days of courting when lovers were separated for long periods of time.  But I think the gesture is as relevant today as it was back then; the last I checked, expressions of love were still a welcome thing.  It needn’t be so grandiloquent and florid as it used to be.  And really, unless you find you are the reincarnated spirit of Shakespeare or Lord Byron, I’d advise you to refrain from it.  But how about a modern love letter for a modern time: warm, succinct, and sincere.  While some may say that current technologies convey these feelings just as well and while they very well may be correct, for me the touch and smell of paper and the act of opening a letter is an unsurpassed sensation compared to the click of a mouse.  However, as an environmentalist, I don’t want to entirely pooh-pooh it; any heartfelt way to express oneself that took time and effort is an acceptable and commendable thing.  But surely we can find another way to conserve paper!  And one shouldn’t go overboard with it anyway; the relative rarity of a love letter makes it all the more special.

So, with these thoughts in my head, I did what I always do when struck with inspiration.  Oh Google, how I lived without you before I do not know!  And I found some wonderful treasures that could get anyone in a letter-writing mood. 

My aforementioned love of touching and smelling paper favors rough, fibrous, naturally-textured, and under-processed paper (also environmentally-friendly!), which can be found in glorious abundance on etsy.com, or I simply consult my favorite blogs for advice, and as always, there is my ever reliable internet boyfriend, Google.  I personally always have stationery on hand because, every once in a while, it’s just nice to receive a real letter.  Currently, I have some ivory deckled-edge stationery from Papyrus.  Deckled means the end of the paper is frayed. 

 

Oh, and I also found some lovely monogrammed stationery (and the accompanying image just happened to contain the initials of a person I know who happens to be attached to a certain blog writer quite fond of receiving letters!)

And then it occurred to me, what better compliment to this decidedly old-fashioned paper than an old-fashioned wax seal.  So, I found this (presumably) authentic antique brass and rosewood wax seal stamp, made by Dennison and Co. (now known as Avery!- makers of labels and Hi-liters) between 1890 and 1910.  And look at the little “L”!  An ideal find!

   

Ok, now let’s pretend for a moment that these musty old declarations of love and adoration are still a little too cheesy for you.  That perhaps you find them a little artificial or outdated.  Because our modern view of love makes all this pomp and production seem insincere (and okay, I might have made them a hard sell at the end when I suggested your letters should look like declarations of war from Napoleon Bonaparte).  Love is love, simply put.  And anything beyond “I love you” is unnecessary.  To that, I offer the modern substitute to romance: cuteness.  So, at twigandthistle.com (and featured in the most recent issue of “In Style” magazine) is a downloadable design for fruit stickers.  Simply purchase the download, buy some sticker paper at any office supply store, print, cut out, and stick onto your loved one’s favorite fruit.  I don’t want to like these, I really don’t.  But I find them just so clever and adorable.  And great for kids too!  After all, we have to find some way to break the cycle.  And delicately (and healthfully!) teaching children about small, random gestures of love might spawn a whole new generation of romantics!  Yay!

 

As for me, I have found my perfect card, one that fully embodies the Greek’s concept that unromantic romance is romantic.

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