The Art Of The Letter

Just the other day, I fell prey to watching one of those Lifetime romance, love-gone-wrong movies that never seem to let us down. The dialogue varies from one movie to another, but the story arc is always the same – usually ending with a “Dear (insert name here)” letter.

What I find most remarkable about all of these stories, particularly the “Dear John” letters, is how do these people all have pretty stationary with nice envelopes at the ready? I mean, do YOU have nice stationery and matching envelopes on hand? I don’t. I write my kids notes like “empty the dishwasher” or “don’t forget to feed the dogs” on paper I have to take out of my printer. And if I don’t have the energy to walk upstairs to my office, they will get a note from their mom on a paper towel. That’s how I roll. No pun intended.

When my daughter left for college last fall, I did go buy a whole bunch of different colored paper and matching envelopes (in a clear little box) to write her letters from home. She got one letter. The one I left with her, in person, when I dropped her off at school. That letter was filled with “I love you’s” and “Make good decisions.” Too much to say on a paper towel.

I probably should break out this stationary for future note writing instead leaving it as a “rainbow” decoration on my kitchen counter. Note to self. Again, no pun intended.

But, let’s get back to the letter writing. When was the last time you actually wrote a letter? Like with a pen and paper, not a paper towel? Better yet, who has TIME to write letters? I do write a personal letter to every cancer patient my foundation helps, but that is different. I’m talking about sitting down with your fancy stationery (like in the Lifetime movies), writing a thoughtful letter, buying a stamp and taking a trip to the post office.

I used to send cards to my friends – smart assy fun cards, birthday and thinking of you cards. I would write a quick note, sign my name with a smiley face and off to the post office I would go. Can I just tell you that the thought of having to go buy a card – for $5.99 no less – write the note, address the envelope, go to the post office, buy the stamp and put it in the mailbox makes me want to stay home in bed and text.

What I have mastered, however, is the Bitmoji. I dress a little character up in “hip” clothes (a leopard dress and kick a$$ boots), my hair color, style, and eye color and it’s like a personal singing telegram from me right to your phone! Imagine that?! Of course, there are variations of Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, You’re the Best and so on. My favorite? Me holding a tuba and the catchphrase “womp womp” coming from the bell end of the tuba. This is my favorite snarky response to “Oh no, are you serious?”

I’m sure the Dear (what’s his name) letter goes over much better than the tuba “womp womp” Bitmoji. I suppose for the Lifetime movie people, it is much more impactful to the story to open the pretty stationary envelope and read the actual letter, also on pretty stationery, than it is for the camera to zoom in on a text saying “See ya! It’s been real.”

I guess the bonus to writing a letter as opposed to a text message in these romance-gone-wrong movies is that there is no immediate response back to your heartfelt, sad goodbye. The recipient has to sit on the bed, think about the words on the page (usually in a fit of rage), go over to the cabinet where the stationary resides, write a letter, go to the post office, get a stamp and mail it. Me, I prefer to just send a text. Takes the drama out of things, and hey, it’s just faster and well, to the point. It seems the art of the letter has now become the art of the text.


Connie Bramer
Connie Bramer is an entrepreneur, mom, breast cancer survivor and author of “How Connie Got Her Rack Back,” her comical spin on the journey of cancer. Connie’s mission to help others through her own experiences drove her to found Get Your Rack Back Inc., a not for profit organization that provides financial assistance to cancer patients in Upstate NY. GYRB assists patients – men, women, and children with varying types of cancers – with gas and grocery gift cards as well as medical copay assistance. Connie has been featured in several magazines including Her Life New York and Womenz Straight Talk. As a cancer survivor, Connie was awarded the Hyatt’s prestigious Portrait of Understanding Award. In addition to her inspirational blog, gyrb. She also shares her everyday antics with a snarky sense of humor on her blog, The Humor Of It All. Connie is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change