With the economic situation being a real downer on our moods and our pocketbooks, there is a call to go back to simpler times. This Valentine's Day, you can expect less diamond jewelry and more sincere, handmade gifts. And what better gift to give than a love letter straight from the heart?
For those of you who have been hitting the wallet every V-day for romantic dinners, furs, Belgian chocolates, or sexy undergarments, a thoughtful and romantic love letter may seem impossible to comprehend, let alone write. Here are a few helpful suggestions if you are planning on setting pen to paper to set your lover's heart afire:
- Be YOU - We often get caught up in all the sentimental jargon, "candy heart" phrases, or try to write like Shakespeare to express ourselves. The whole point of a love letter is to express YOUR love. Use your own words. Unless you are a poet or novelist, s/he is not going to expect you to write in iambic pentameter. In fact, the letter will seem more genuine if it has a few of your patented grammar gaffes.
- Actually WRITE IT - Your grammar school teachers didn't preach penmanship so you can just give it up in favor of tapping away at a keyboard for every note, grocery list and letter you will ever write again in your lifetime! Handwriting expresses more than just the words and sentences that are written. There are subtleties in the lines and strokes that give another dimension to the words on the paper. But what about the occasional spelng mistke that spellcheck usually picks up? Type it out on the computer first, print it out and then write it on a nice crisp sheet of paper. If you are writing it with a fountain pen, add a nice flair to the letter by writing it with Noodler's Ottoman Rose.
- Ask yourself a few questions - If you get writer's block and can't seem to get past the first sentence, ask yourself a few questions and answer them on a separate piece of paper to brainstorm. For example, what plans do you have in the future with that person? How do you feel whenever s/he is away for long periods of time? What is your favorite characteristic about her/him? If you're already married, think about your wedding day or the engagement proposal. If you have recently overcome a difficult struggle in your life, think of how that person had played a role in your well-being. Sometimes a love letter can be very hypothetical and far-fetched. Feel free to share your hopes and dreams with the other person.
- The Closing - Ending the letter could possibly be the hardest part. You really have to go out on a bang and avoid any cliche expressions. Also, try not to be too impersonal by simply saying "Sincerely," or "Regards,." A simple "Love" can suffice if you have plenty of loving sentiment in the body of the letter. Try to avoid using "PS." It is WAY too overused! Post Script is a novelty from the old days when we couldn't go back into the handwritten letter and insert a sentence that you forgot earlier. Now we have white-out and Word to do our dirty work. A nice way to use PS is if you want to lead them to a cleverly hidden gift. For example, "PS. Look in the driveway."
PS. There is no car with a red bow in the driveway. It's a bicycle. That's all I can afford.