It Doesnt get more romantic than wingdings


One important rule (if there are any) when choosing art for your home is to pick things that are meaningful to you. Things that represent you, bring up memories, or just look cool to your eyes. They don’t have to be pretty or even “art”.

This trio of framed letters in my hallway doesn’t catch the attention of many visitors. I have plenty of showier pieces that do, and I love those too. But if my house caught on fire I’d grab these on my way out and let the rest burn.

I went to camp every summer as a child. It was a magical camp, and one of my favorite parts of the day was mail call. I loved getting letters. I think I loved having an excuse to write them even more.

I had a crush on a boy back home and realized this was my chance to talk to him without really having to talk to him. I don’t recall what I wrote, but when I got home there was a return letter from him in the mail stack.

I remember feeling nervous and a little embarrassed. What if it was just a courtesy letter his mom made him write to be polite? What if he thought letters were silly? Most 10-year-old boys probably do.

To my surprise and delight he seemed absolutely smitten with me. My plan had worked. He wasn’t the best speller but that was OK; I could help with that. I read it over and over.

Even though we lived about a mile from each other, and I was home now with access to a telephone, the letter exchange kept going. I couldn’t text him yet because it was 1995. And speaking out loud on the phone was simply unfathomable.

This went on for weeks. I felt like a Disney princess living out the most romantic love story of all time. We ran into each other on a few occasions that summer, at church & the pool & friends’ birthday parties, but we never spoke in person. It didn’t matter. We were in love.

I don’t remember “breaking up” but according to my 5th grade diary I developed another crush on a different boy once school started. The letters stayed in a secret box under my bed, and from that point on I made a habit of keeping every written letter I ever got.

Letter Boy remained a part of my life throughout high school, but only as a friend. We went to different colleges, each got married, and attended each other’s weddings. In a welcome but unexpected twist, we happened to get divorced around the same time (6ish years later). I moved back home to my parents’ house and he was living in the same town.
John Turner Object Biographies in 1990
We met up one night to commiserate and have some friendly drinks. 24 hours later we were no longer just friends. 8 years later we are now married and have a 2nd grader.

Sometime during my pregnancy I realized I probably still had the letters somewhere. I found them in a box in storage, creased and fragile and buried under a mountain of other letters. They went to the frame shop that day.

Not all of my home decor items are backed by epic love stories. In fact, it’s a huge coincidence that I’ve maintained these little pieces of paper for 30+ years. I’m not a hoarder, and I don’t consider myself sentimental. I lose more stuff than I keep.

But if one day you yourself stumble upon some love letters that your spouse wrote you as a 10-year-old, declaring their undying affection and devotion (“I’ll always like you no matter what!!!!!”)—- then by all means. Put those bitches in frames, hang them on the wall and call them art.

Bonus points for wingdings.
Full letters with translations below:
"Dear Mary, I got your letter and I liked it. Thanks about thinking about me when you were at camp. And thanks for ignoring that guy you were talking about. Next year I'm going to Crose Point and Strong River. I hope you come to. The reason I've been asking if you like me so much is because people like Jay McGraw keep telling me you don't. Love, John Turner"
"Dear Mary, I got your letter on Wednesday. I liked it a lot. I did se Apollo 13  it was great. In your letter you said you would only go with Chase if I broke up with you. But don't worry. I would never break-up with you. You also said that I was sweet. Well your the sweetest and the most beautiful person in the world. Love, John Turner"
"Dear Mary, I diddent have any thing to do so I decided to write you another letter. I wanted to use my dads computer so the handwriting would look a little better. But anyway how-come every day I ride by your house and nobodys there. But i'm never at home because I'm always at the Country Club. The other day I played golf with Chase for about two hours it was fun. Chase is going to try to go with you. And its your decission but remember I'll always like you no matter What!!! Love, John Turner  P.S. I'll always like you no matter What!!"


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