Signed Sealed Delivered

If your wife/significant other has ever told you, "Well, you're no Einstein!" That could be a compliment. Because when it comes to love, Einstein was apparently an idiot.

Albert Einstein and his amazing-missus.

Albert Einstein and his amazing-missus.

This is the second post in a series on how not to massacre St. Valentine's Day. In the first, I suggested considering poetry as a romantic gift. But while:

Roses are red and Violets are blue,
Perhaps writing verse is not for you.

How about prose?! You know, a good old-fashioned letter. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, you're not trying to win a Pulitzer. Maybe just show her you remember a special time like your first date, or maybe you make a list of the things you enjoy doing together. [WARNING: Make sure you only include things she actually enjoys and doesn't just pretend to, e.g.: crappie fishing, tractor pulls, a Sunday afternoon of NASCAR with a bowl of chips and bean dip.]

If you like the letter writing idea, but feel uneasy about it, kind of like you're walking across a frozen pond, admit it right up front in your letter. Maybe start with something like: "As you know this is the first time I've tried to put two sentences together since high school, but..."

Or you can seek professional help--with your letter. Google it. But be careful. You think the wrath of your English teacher over plagiarism was bad, try it on your beloved.

Here's a book you might want to check out. It's written by Samara O'Shea, who is a professional letter writer. I read the book a few years back and was intrigued. I've actually talked to Samara. She is very understanding. In fact, she ended up writing a piece for a project I've been working on for a while.

For the Love of Letters: A 21st-Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing by Samara O'Shea

For the Love of Letters: A 21st-Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing by Samara O'Shea

Whatever you do--don't try to be an Einstein when it comes to composing loving correspondence. Einstein was married to Mileva Marić for eleven years. The marriage was fast deteriorating. Read his letter called, "Conditions" and wonder why. Shortly after receiving the letter, the lovely Mileva left him, surprise, surprise. He then married his first cousin.

In his letter he lovingly laid out the rules for their relationship. It reminds me of something Sheldon Cooper would give to Amy, if they ever married.

CONDITIONS (from the book: Einstein: His Life and Universe)

You will make sure:

  • that my clothes and laundry are kept in good order;
  • that I will receive my three meals regularly in my room;
  • that my bedroom and study are kept neat, and especially that my desk is left for my use only.

You will renounce all personal relations with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reasons. Specifically, You will forego:

  • my sitting at home with you;
  • my going out or traveling with you.

You will obey the following points in your relations with me:

  • you will not expect any intimacy from me, nor will you reproach me in any way;
  • you will stop talking to me if I request it;
  • you will leave my bedroom or study immediately without protest if I request it.
  • You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behavior.

--Love, Albert


See. You can do this letter thing. You may not be an Einstein, but, to quote the lovable Martha Stewart: "that's a good thing."