In the “Sex and The City” movie, hopeless romantic Carrie Bradshaw reads “Love Letters of Great Men” while in bed with Mr. Big. He mocks the book, but she reads, starry-eyed from the book that contains love letters from history’s favorite men.
Like Ms. Bradshaw, I wanted to find love in an incredibly hopeless place, so I bought the book. After spending $14.54 on Amazon.com, I read “Love Letters of Great Men” by Ursula Doyle. What a clever babe, creating a book that wasn’t real so that we could all read exactly what Carrie reads. As I was reading, I received a text from my man of the week. It said “Good nite. Talk to u tomor.” No really, that’s EXACTLY what it said. Did he fall asleep as he was spelling out the word “tomorrow”? Does he think that is the correct spelling for “night”?
At what point did men become so lazy that they transitioned from “A thousand torments dwell about me! Yet who would live to live without thee?” to “Good nite”? At what point did women accept these lesser declarations of love? Maybe it was the invention of the typewriter or the read receipt. Someone must be blamed for this.
Recently, one of my most blingle-y friends spent almost an hour trying to reply to a one-word text from a guy. We weighed the pros and cons of saying “cool” or “neat.” How in the world could so much time be spent on a virtual form of communication that would absolutely not have any dramatic results? We were not crafting a love letter, nor a reply to one. A text message is the farthest thing from a love letter, yet we agonize over the content.
Back to the letters. Taken from a wide range of dates, they describe the uniqueness of love and how special a person is. It’s really adorable, even if some of them are downright cheese-filled. The men who wrote them had power and swagger–they weren’t poets dancing around on stages in tights. I want to be with that kind of dude, the kind who is so sure of his manliness that he can declare his love for me and still have a pair. Maybe it’s far-fetched–but, oh wait, it’s not. There’s a BOOK full of women who got to be with men like that.
In the age of text messages, drunken hookups, and shallow lust, true romantic writing has been lost. No one writes love letters anymore. I remember begging an old ex of mine to write me a love letter. He finally agreed, scratching out a paragraph on notebook paper. I also wrote one, on my most beautiful stationery. That letter is still my absolute favorite possession. Would a guy get made fun of for writing such a letter? Probably. But would he get laid and win the heart of some girl (and her entire sorority)? Absolutely.
Maybe it’s our fault for accepting shallow communication as adequate. Sure, I enjoy the suspense of texting back and forth with someone you met once, just to see where it leads. But these are not love letters. They are not filled with brilliant strings of words that would (and did) make the best of historical ladies swoon. They don’t deserve hours of our time, especially if the man behind the typing is as shallow as his words.
I guess the lesson here is that these men have to be out there, and if they’re not, it’s our fault for allowing the standards to slip. When did people learn to “play hard to get”? When did every guy learn that he can still get laid by sending a “Hey, you up?” text message? I missed out on this lesson, and I hope I can find a man who missed out on it, too.