Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. After I got divorced and my ex remarried on Valentine’s Day, it was not a holiday I looked forward to. Then I met David and our celebrations of a day for love, came slowly – but they did come. After a few years we started our own traditions and one of them included a “Love Note” in the Washington Post. It was a wonderful way to say I love you, or I care, or ‘you have been a dope but at least you are my dope.’ When it started, I guess sometime in the eighties, the “Love Notes” filled about a page. Over the years it grew and at one point, the Post did a special section – 6 pages. David was dutiful in his participation and after Jordan could read, he sent one to her as well. Then, for whatever reason -- too busy, less sentimental, wanted to be more discreet in his affection, didn’t love us anymore (just kidding because he always loved her), he stopped sending them.
After a long absence from the pages of the Post, this year he sent me a 'Love Note'. It said, “Irie” (that’s Jamaican for everything is alright -- you may remember from my blob a few days ago about David’s book and show.) Oh never mind, it’s much too personal to share with anyone but the thousands of people who read the Washington Post. When I saw the ‘Notes”, and I only looked because David said he had sent one, what was most surprising was that there was only half a page of them. I wondered why so few people sent notes this year. Then I figured it must because the ‘Notes” are on line instead of in print. Try as I might, I couldn’t find anything on line. It is possible that I could not find them because I am ‘technotarded’ (a word I think my pal Jim made up to describe my constant frustration with anything technical. He always says, with love, “what are you, some kind of a “technotard?” – another word you will see in a not so politically correct dictionary now that it has been used here.) And, in fact I am, but there were no ‘Love Notes' on line.
What does this mean to society as we know it? Don’t people love one another enough to pay for a three line message in a National newspaper? We all know that match.com, Jdate, Affiity, and letsgetitonasap, are thriving. Additionally, we know, because we have seen Face Book and entries on MY Space pages, that people are not subtle about who they are, who their friends are, what parties they attended and if they were naked. So why has the “Love Notes’ page become so minimal?
Did I just answer my own query? (Among many others, I love the word query, also plethora and dearth. David used verdant in describing our rosemary bush the other day and I kind of liked that too.) People obviously don’t need to express themselves in a newspaper – why bother when people are not reading the paper anymore. I mean, if you want anyone (strangers or otherwise) to know about your love life, why would you post it in a place that no one reads.
Have you seen the size of the NY Times lately? Talk about heartbreaking. Technotard that I am, I can go online and read the paper. But I can’t see the placement of the story, on what page, or get ink on my hands – which has always been part of the joyful experience.
Yes, I know it is old-school think to have to purchase or have an intimate relationship with a dirty piece of paper, but that like so many other things that are slowly disappearing, this has made life just a bit more impersonal. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the stories, blogs and Twitter reports (OK I don’t enjoy the Twitter reports), it’s just that I have excellent interpersonal relationship skills and I don’t want the importance of those to be diminished. And when I see “I love you stinky” in print, I feel sure it is true and everlasting love because you just can’t hit Delete and move on. And note, that’s really love. We’re just sayin’....Iris