I have always used the love letter as a method of building my connections with my target. I first started at school when one would write a short note and pass it across the class to the object of one’s affection. With a sideways glance I would watch as she would open the piece of paper up and smile before nudging her friend sat besides her and both would look my way with a smile and a giggle. Ah, from such acorns did my prowess with the billet-doux grow.
Those early ‘romances’ which in truth lasted little more than a month or so before we moved on to someone else gave way to the first proper girlfriend and then more meaningful correspondences sprang up. I remember during the Easter holidays in my penultimate year at school I engaged in an exchange of letters with a young lady who lived in a village a little way from where I lived. She would write a letter and I would receive it the next day. I immediately wrote a reply and she would receive it thenext day. Back and forth our letters went. Of course we had no such thing as Instant Messenger or text messages. E-mail was in its infancy and was certainly not something that was used from home. I remember she wrote on light green paper placed inside a green envelope. It certainly stood out when it arrived on the doormat in the morning. I of course responded by writing (no use of typewriter or word processor back then) on crisp white paper of a decent thickness which would be folded into a third and inserted into an envelope. I still have her letters along with all of the others that I have received. Once in a while I will remove the box from its place of secretion and sit and rifle through the contents. I have no real interest in the content or returning to those moments, I may do it in front of my current partner in order to provoke a reaction from her.
Those early letters exchanged that Easter began as exchanges about what we had been doing each day, talking about other’s friends and then began a mild flirtation. We ended up as girlfriend and boyfriend after the letter writing. This earned me considerable kudos with my peers since the girl in question was held up as one of the most desirable in the year (although looking back I suspect much of that was to do with the fact that she arrived in our first year well-developed for her age). I recall when we went to watch a particular film about Viet Nam at the cinema on of our dates she told me,
“You are not my usual type. I usually go for older boys but I loved what you wrote to me. Nobody has done that before.”
Whilst I cannot of course lay claim to be the only person who has written a love letter, it became apparent that it had become something of a dying art. I do not mean silly notes in class or something that resembles little more than an extract from a diary. Instead I am referring to the sweeping, grand, romantic proclamations of love and desire. Vulgarity is not allowed in these poetic pieces of literature, instead should one wish to express a physical need for coupling then the application of euphemism and analogy came to the fore.
I honed my craft corresponding with girlfriends from university. Invariably we came from different parts of the country and therefore during holidays we wrote to one another. I used this as an opportunity to sharpen my skills and polish my prose. The upshot was that thereafter although there was no real need to write to one another (we lived in the same place or even together) the production of a love letter left on a pillow or placed by a prepared breakfast on the dining table worked magically as a method of seduction.
I had a template of about five differing types of letter and have used them on several different ladies. I would copy them word for word with suitable alterations mutatis mutandis to cater for differences in appearance or demeanour. These crafted missives were powerful indeed. They created strong connections between my target and I. The content was such the lady in question would always be swept off her feet and of course when those loving words became barbed and thorny, she would retreat to where she kept them and weep over the beauty contained in those first letters. Knowing that these letters would be clutched in a shaking hand as the tears rolled down her cheeks however many weeks down the line was edifying indeed.
I still use them. In a world governed by technology, text speak and the immediacy of communication, the provision of a hand-written billet-doux has a tremendous effect.