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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The lost art of handwritten love letters

    Call me old-fashioned, artsy or just plain weird, but I think there’s something special about how everyone has such unique handwriting.

    And the way it comes out in letters? Love letters? Don’t even get me started.

    If you love me, write me a letter. Sit down at your desk, grab a pen and attack a blank piece of paper like your life depends on it. I want to see exactly where you got nervous and your hand smudged the ink, where you were so excited about your words that you forgot to cross your “t.”

    I want to see where you let your handwriting slip because a thought was so dreamy, you couldn’t help but lose focus. I want to see where you got so direct, you nearly stabbed the page right through with your pen, ink bleeding helplessly thick throughout the entire word. I want to see you in your writing.

    And when you’re done, I want to see your signature — a promise that you meant every word, that I can hold on to the letter as long as I need it. Call me a dreamer, but I don’t think there’s anything more romantic than that.

    Sure, you can send a text. Email me. Tweet me. But it’s just not the same as giving me a physical piece of paper with all of your feelings spilled out on the page. A letter is an unorganized list of reasons you thought of me. A letter is a keepsake from a moment that was important and special.
    I like the feeling of physically holding words, and I’m not alone.

    In 2009, Max Kalehoff, a marketing executive from New York, composed a list of 11 traits handwritten letters have — tactile, permanent, convincing, purposeful, individualized, handmade, thoughtful, emotional, engaging, reflective and humble — and built upon how they influence his relationships with clients and colleagues.

    He remembered a time when one coworker wrote a handwritten apology to a client after calling one too many times. The client called back on his own terms and purchased the company’s product because the man was “a good guy.” These things matter.

    There was a time when handwriting notes was the only way to go. Some of the most famous letters in history were handwritten — the Declaration of Independence, for one. Imagine the power of the Declaration, America’s own breakup letter to Britain, if clad in Times New Roman font.

    And when Theodore Roosevelt’s first wife died, could he really have eloquently tweeted his sadness? Or would his handwritten diary entry “the light has gone out of my life” move the American people more?

    Where typing dehumanizes clients and significant others, handwritten notes personalize and sparkle.

    I propose we return to a time when “luv u babe” on a bright, tiny screen didn’t suffice as a romantic gesture. A time where we revel in the uniqueness of our own two hands and write, with ink and paper, everything we want to say. Love me, hate me — doesn’t matter. Write me a letter. I spend enough time typing on my own computer; I don’t need to see anything from someone else’s.

    So this Valentine’s Day, I expect a handwritten note. Give me a thought I can hold in my hands.

    Love is fickle, but letters last forever.

    Kasey Shores is a journalism sophomore. Follow her @kaseyshores.

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