Around a year ago, my flatmate met “the guy”. The guy, who unlike many others, seemed genuine, was funny, intelligent and appearance-wise was “her type”. The problem was that this man lived on the other side of the world. Thus, for the remainder of the year, they promised to keep in contact via emails and letters. What became clear from this means of communication, was the different responses and content these two mediums generated from my friend.
In emails, the pair would exchange basic small talk- how their day was, links they thought the other might like and so forth. And my friend, after reading would reply relatively instantly- pausing only to reflect how many kisses- “x”, “xx” or “xxx”, might be appropriate. Following which, the sent email would lie untouched and forgotten in her inbox.
In contrast, the weekly letter arrival was a big event– involving a slow, methodical process of anxiously waiting for our rarely frequent post, marching the bulging envelope into her bedroom, skim-reading it and then reading it word-by-word for a lengthy period. It was only much later, that I was given an insight into the letter’s contents, when she would read out loud certain phrases for us to analyse or crossed-out scrawls for me to decipher. Often with a glass of wine, in one hand, we would try and establish “what that means?” or “is that suggesting this?”. Given that the letters were long and reflective, my friend found writing a sufficiently “meaningful” and “deep” response challenging. Whilst I, entralled by the whole romanticness of the situation, would offer her an occasional suggestion. I think after all this, the letters would lie, carefully folded, in her bedside table- to be read with ease.
It is therefore unsurprising, given this letter-writing occurrence in my flat (and the guy’s later arrival in the UK), that love letters hold a particular interest with me. I feel largely nostalgic for days when writing letters or even post-cards was the way to keep in touch; and I subsequently received post other than bills through my letterbox. I also love the material hard evidence of a letter and the rather Hollywood concept of rediscovering a letter decades, and multiple life-changes, later. I therefore was excited to uncover to website 300 love letters, which follows the inspiring efforts of Asia Wong to send 300 love letters to strangers, family, friends; using a range of innovative mediums (in one- Asia writes on toilet paper). As such, I hope that by telling you about Asia’s site here, the message of sending the love (cheesy but true) can go even further. And to get you clicking/scrawling/loving, I’ve included three of my favourites below-