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    Heartless Spew: An Indictment of Pre-Fabricated Love Letters

            Months ago, I came across this website where you can buy a book of pre-written love letters. Thats right. Pre-written love letters penned by somebody else. So you don’t have to write a single word. It even comes with a money back guarantee. The book is even featured in Cosmopolitan and on A&E too, which apparently gives it some form of legitimacy.
            When you enter the site, there’s a video starring the purveyor of this mind numbing concept. She touts the effectiveness and ease of sending a pre-written love letter. The website also offers books on regurgitated love emails and love poems too. The claim is that women have used these books to send the perfect love letter to their man, without the guy ever knowing it. But the products are marketed primarily to men.
            Are you fucking kidding me? I laughed so hard when I saw the website and watched the video that I had to change my shorts before heading to the gym. Have we simultaneously become completely out of touch with how we feel and a nation of liars? Tell me that we haven’t become the collective emotional manifestation of the Bush Administration.
            Are we so numb that we can’t muster the passion or desire to write any original words to the person we love? Are things so bad in relationship-land that we really have to pay someone else to write a love letter? I can’t think of anything more ridiculous. This is the adult emotional equivalent of paying somebody in high school to write your term paper. At least that can be laughed off as young and foolish. This can’t. Help me with this. How could anybody buy this pre-fabricated, un-original spew?
            On the website, they quote Dr. John Grey, who wrote Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. He says “When you want to feel good, write a love letter.” They actually use that quote. Am I missing something? Doesn’t the quote says “write a love letter”? That, I assume, implies that you.... “write a love letter”. It doesn’t say “When you want to feel good, pay for somebody else’s love letter, because you can’t come up with an original creative thought on your own, then pass the letter off as yours, bask in the glory of the ploy, and hope she doesn’t find out about it”.
            Maybe I just wasn’t reading between the lines. But us guys aren’t too good at that either, as advocates of this website surely know. Not only are we incapable of writing anything original about how we feel, but we can’t even read about it properly either. Boy are we dumb.
            Along this line of thinking, we should be able to buy pre-fabricated breakup letters too. Everything from forty-two page dissertations on why the relationship doesn’t work, to the simple one liner, “Fuck Off.”
            Anything, repeat, ANYTHING is better than sending this drivel to somebody you care about. If you’re not a great writer, or have trouble expressing yourself with words, get together with a friend who’s better at it and spend a few hours creating something together. If you don’t know any friends better than you at this stuff, call your cousin. Hell, call your mother before you fall for this crap.
            The whole point of a love letter is that it comes from your heart. Not some pimply college journalism major who’s getting paid minimum wage to come up with pages of sentimental word drool that will be edited by the genius behind all this.
            This genius, by the way, is a self proclaimed “love coach”. That’s right. The woman who wants you to pay her to write a love letter for you calls herself a “love coach”. This is a mad case of severe linguistic distortion, even for advertising. She has absolutely no idea what the word “coach” means. A coach does not encourage her clients to pay somebody else to get the job done. That’s more akin to a john hiring a prostitute. A coach “coaches”. A coach teaches and motivates people to reach a higher level of performance. All this woman is doing is providing an easy way out for guys who have trouble feeling. Which is a lot of men, granted. I used to be shut down, so I have empathy for the plight of those who can’t get to how they feel.
            But take it from one who has been there. If you're one who struggles with your feelings, the worst thing you could do is buy this book and fall for this shit. This woman is not a coach. She’s a pusher. And the people who buy this stuff are addicts. Both should get themselves into a twelve step program. Now. They’ll thank me for it later.
            The process of writing your own love letter is the whole point. Paying someone else to do it is like buying an Olympic medal. It feels good at first because you’ve got this shiny new medal that says “You’re Great”. But pretty soon, the buzz wears off. You’re still the same person who can’t produce an original thought about love, and you’ve duped your lover into thinking you can. Full steam ahead in that relationship.
            Even if whatever you write is the most incoherent, misspelled, grammatically ghastly pile of over-sentimental tripe ever written, it’s yours. And you’ll do better next time. And the time after that. If the person you’re with can’t love you for the effort of trying to write a love letter, then maybe you’re with the wrong person.
            How about a love letter that says “I can’t write you a love letter because I’m no good at it. But I just wanted to say that I love you”. Anybody who can spell “cat” could get that one off. If the person you’re with loves you for who you are, he or she will be thrilled that you took the time to do something that’s hard for you in an effort to show them how much you care. What says love more than that? And if it’s the truth, it’s infinitely better than anything anybody else could write.
            Now there’s a novel concept. Truth. Truth that could lead to some truthful discussion. Maybe some truthful feelings. Maybe, god forbid, some truthful intimacy. Isn’t that the point of the love letter in the first place? No wait, I’m sorry. According to this “love coach”, the whole point is the appearance of intimacy. The appearance of truth. The appearance of something genuine from the heart. That’s much better than the real thing. Like “Love...Now Fat Free!”. And just like the shit they sell at the supermarket that’s had the fat taken out, this amalgamation of vomit doesn’t taste very good. And it’s actually much worse for you than the original, fat laden stuff. It kills you. Slowly. Sign me up.
            Lovers everywhere, this book is the problem, not the solution. It’s encouraging us to not do the work; the work we need to do to get in touch with how we feel. It’s encouraging us to love by not digging deep into ourselves for our true expression. I’ve been that route. It’s not possible. It’s against the laws of emotional physics. This whole concept is the antithesis of love, not an expression of it. It’s not just a quick fix, it’s a lousy quick fix at that. Like a dose of bunk heroin from a dirty needle. This book is a bad drug that doesn’t even address the symptom, never mind the cause.
            If anybody out there needs help writing a love letter, please don’t fall for this. In fact, get a hold of me. I’m not going to write it for you, but I’d be glad to help.

    ©2009 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and a love letter of Wrongs) Reserved.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    It is the path of least resistance. There you have it. It is an ugly creed but we all know people that abide by it. Writing is a powerful skill that should not be taken for granted. But it takes time. Not everybody has the facility, and that is a shame. I know I can make people laugh and cry with the written word. I use it thoughtfully, but if I ever again have the opportunity to write a love letter to a woman, I will apply the power of the written word liberally. And gleefully.

    February 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGlen Carliss

    As usual, you hit more than one nail squarely on it's head. I know that not everybody has the time or the faculty to craft an epic love letter, but as I say repeatedly in my post, ANYTHING you write is better than paying for someone else's words and passing them off as your own. Thanx for the insight Glen.


    February 9, 2009 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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