“The sight of that shining moon up there—the moon that shines on you, too—fills me with romance—; and even though it’s just a dream now, it’s a promise of a glorious future with one I love more than life. The darned old moon keeps shining for us, darling—and even as it now increases that inescapable loneliness, it also increases my confidence in the future. I truly love you….”
They say people that don’t talk like that anymore. Why? This quote, taken from a letter written by Pauline “Polly” Elliott to her husband Frank M. Elliot serving in Normandy during World War II, seems to come from another era entirely. What’s happened in the past 70 years that makes language like Polly’s seem so foreign? Is it possible to translate the magic of her words into our modern age of texting, abbreviations and social media?
Definitely. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner we want to offer a few tips on what to think about when you’re writing your recruit a love letter and how you can make your letters to him all the more special.
First, think about your audience. Would you rather your letter be public or private—a post on Facebook or Instagram or a handwritten note for his eyes-only? These days we have so many options for communication it’s hard to pick one, but it’s also important to consider how your recruit would like to hear from you. This might seem like a weird thing to think about, but everyone is different and appreciates different gestures.
Focus and Put in the Time
Second, take a breath, and devote some serious time to your letter. Our lives today are full of constant distractions, and although it might seem easy to write out a few quick sentences and be done with it, your letter will mean so much more if you sit down, clear your mind, and reflect on what you want to say and how you want to communicate your emotions. Look at Polly! Obviously you don’t need to be quite as extreme, but it’s also very clear that she didn’t write those words lightly, and that makes a huge difference.
Third, be mindful of your recruit’s situation. He (or she) is living a totally different life than you and there might be certain things that he wants to hear about and others that he might not. Make sure to ask him direct questions so that he has something to respond to and don’t be afraid to write him first! These guys are exhausted, both mentally and physically, and sometimes they might not have the capacity to write a fantastic letter back to you. This is OK as long as you keep the conversation going—including special memories or attaching pictures are also great ways to show how much you care.
Finally, using Sandboxx you can take all of these tips and write your recruit a love letter up until Monday at 5pm with the guarantee that it will reach him on Valentine’s Day!
If you want to see more examples of Polly’s letters to Frank check out this article in the Washington Post.