Sunday, January 24, 2010

Writing a fight letter?

I was at the gym this morning, and I had the opportunity to overhear some very interesting locker room chatter. Three European women were talking about how to deal with their most likely European husbands. They discussed how the real way to get in touch with their men on uncomfortable subjects is to write him a letter, old school renaissance style. Their logic was that when their husbands hear a difficult topic coming up, they clam up and check out of the conversation. They opt not to listen, in laymen’s terms. The women all seemed to agree that men responded better to a letter because instead of having the option to tune out, they actually would read the whole thing. Interesting concept. I had to get in on this conversation.

I had so many questions. I needed answers. I happened to be conveniently eavesdropping in their line of vision, so when one made eye contact with me, I had my in. I mean, why would their husband read the letter and not just toss it if he is avoiding the topic in open conversation? The women seemed to think that men sensed the importance suggested by the effort put into writing a letter. They also agreed that men respond better to the non-confrontational setting of a letter that they can read in private, to themselves.

They raised a few interesting ideas about the male psyche. Do they really respond better to the written word? Is that why everything was so wildly romantic when couples had to write love letters to each other and whisper sweet nothings rather than talking out their problems in the public air? It still seemed like kind of a cop out to me.

I personally am a fan of just saying it how it is and letting that be that. The older generation (to which these ladies belonged) is always giving us youngsters a hard time about our new fangled ways of communicating. I have read countless articles on how people are losing their face to face social skills with all the instant messaging, texting, and internet life we have access to. Yet women of this very generation were sitting here telling me that I should write a letter if I really want to get my man’s attention, recommending the very same impersonal approach they sanction us for. I mean what is really different from a letter or an email except the speed at which it arrives, allowing us to resolve our problems or communicate our emotions even more quickly.

I think that texting and emailing let’s people get to know each other better like any phone call would. And why does email get such a bad name of being impersonal? It’s the same thing as a letter, minus having to decipher the messy boy handwriting that could simply lead to more confusion. If men respond better to the written word, and women love love letters, email and texting are simply the newest and fastest frontier in dating history. OR these women are wrong, and the real old fashioned way is to log the face time that let’s you get all the smooches you deserve.

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