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The modern love letter. Since the advent of the internet and e-mail, no one has to communicate face to face anymore. This can make communication a lot easier and sweeter, since you don't have to look the person in the eye. However, it can also make communication incredibly brutal, again, because you don't have to look the person in the eye.

In modern romance, it's become acceptable to break up with someone and/or rip their fucking heart out via e-mail. It's a lot easier, but it's also fucking classless and gauche, AND it is recorded for posterity on both of your mail servers and emblazoned on your hard drives, not to mention your hearts, minds and souls. I offer you the modern love/hate letter, an example of what happens when a relationship goes from fuckfest to "fuck you" fest in zero to 60 seconds.


The Morning After (or rather 4 days later, since the bugger didn't call like he said he would, surprise, surprise):

"Are you alive? Dead? Somehow incapable of dropping me a line or giving me a quick call after the amazing night we had?

If you're dead, in traction, or otherwise incapable of doing so, I forgive you. If not, what the fuck?

If you're blowing me off because you've decided for some retarded reason that you don't want to see me anymore, just fucking say so. Don't feed me the standard litany of bullshit that your gender is so wont to do (oh, I feel guilty, we moved to fast, that was great, but I don't see us really going anywhere beyond the physical, blah, blah, fucking blah). Just be honest with me. I won't stalk you or go postal on you, like many women might. I will simply move on with my life and leave you in the dust like you are leaving me.

If you're not blowing me off and I'm overreacting, boy do I feel like an asshole and please forgive me, but please also understand. I take sex seriously, and I thought you and I have enough in common to really go somewhere, and I like you a lot.

But if that "I'll call again" line was just bullshit to get in my pants, fuck you very much.

E-mail me. Let me know what the hell is going on. It's really, really cruel to leave someone hanging like this. Give me the respect and basic decency of acknowledging my existence after the extremely intimate night that we had.

She"

The reply She had not braced herself for:

"I have been thinking a lot about last Friday night. Mostly, during the drive back late that night. There were a few things on my mind. You seem like a very cool person and I enjoyed hanging out but I don't really feel an attraction I have to say. I didn't just use you to have sex either. I will admit I got a bit carried away in the moment but it wasn't my intention to do so.

I think our personalities mesh rather well but I just am not physically attracted to you. I wish I was but alas I am not. I'm sorry!!! I'd love to try being friends but will understand if you're not cool with that. I do enjoy hanging out with you as I said earlier but I'd prefer a non-sexual relationship.

He"

She, vomiting up her teeth, replies the following:

"You aren't physically attracted to me, yet you fucked my brains out for 3 hours. Uh-huh. THAT makes sense.

Fuck you, asshole.

She"

He, feeling the need to recover his male ego, pens the following sweet missive:

"Fuck you too!!! I never said I meant to have sex with you. I can't help it you are ugly and fat!!!"

OUCH!! She, ego smarting, running her eyes over her body trying to figure out how the fuck he could say she's fat (she's no Britney Spears, but she's not chunky, either!), spews the following bit of bile in return:

"Oh, NOW we're being mature, Mr. Backstreet Fuck.

Why the fuck did you say you definitely planned to call again? Why bullshit me completely like that?

You've just reminded me why I never date guys our age... Because you are all a bunch of immature fuckwads who want one thing and one thing only, and will say anything to get it.

I am neither ugly nor fat. You're simply immature, unrefined and retarded. I could comment on the fact that your dick is pathetically small, but I won't. OH, OOPS, I just did.

Don't write me anymore, you half-witted, immature, ambitionless, boring, prematurely-balding fuck.

She, A Goddess the Likes of Which A Loser Like You Will Never Get Near Again"


He, his ego now as shattered as hers, in a fit of rage equal to hers, fires back to demonstrate his utmost maturity:

"Tell yourself that. You wish you were a goddess. You were so fat that it wasn't even funny. Don't even make it out that you're mature!!! Cause I'm ten times more mature than you'll ever be!!! Not to mention the fact I'm smarter. You obviously are stupid since about 10 times now I told you it wasn't my intention to sleep with you. I was gonna call too but I had a change of heart on my drive back. You did lie so bad in your description!!! You said you were in good shape. If that was good shape I'd had to see bad shape!!! Lying is not the way to go for future reference!!!

He"

She, ego really smarting now, in tears, pissed as hell that he accused her of lying in her profile, which she absolutely, unequivocally did not, starts to get smug while maintaining a certain level of cruelty:

"You never said that wasn't your intention, fuckwad. You were practically forcing yourself on me for like 1/2 an hour before I gave in, which I regret.

Yes, I'm stupid. I speak 3 foreign languages, I make way more than you, I work with computers all day, and I've taught myself to read Hebrew better than most people at my shul. Yep, you're right, I'm stupid.

No one else has ever complained about my body before. I've never gotten anything but compliments. That leads me to believe that you are, in fact, a complete fucking retard. The fact that you prefer a different body style does not mean that I am fat or ugly, just that I don't conform to your particular tastes.

At any rate, this is pointless. We're behaving like total assholes. I do have to thank you for this catharsis (look that up), though. It does feel good.

She"

He, having lost the high ground, writes the following bit of testosterone and adrenaline-ridden stream-of-consciousness snot:

"You have serious issues!!! Did you know that!!! I have never seen someone with as much as yourself!!! Who cares if you make more money!!! I went to U of Yuppies (names of schools edited to conceal parties identities) and you went to the University of Somewhere in Ohio!!! Which school is better!!! If no guy ever told you you weren't fit before well all I need to say is this: YOU LIVE IN FUCKING OHIO!!! Not exactly an attractive state now is it!!!

He"

She, now crying and laughing at the same time, gets even snottier in an attempt to squeeze the largest amount of rage possible out of this man who has just broken her heart in 4 billion pieces, replies:

"FYI, I've dated guys from New York, Michigan, Russia, Germany, Greece and Florida, along with a few Ohioans. Jesus, who knew the Michigan/Ohio rivalry ran so fucking deep! Or maybe all that New Jersey smog has corroded your fucking brain...

Um... I am not the one with issues here... It's obviously you, Mr. I'm-So-Afraid-Of-Communication-I-Can't-Even-Call-Someone-to-Let-Them-Know-I-Don't-Want-To-See-Them-Anymore-But-Instead-Just-Leave-Them-Hanging-Because-I'm-a-Total-Asshole. If you had just called... Oh, fuck it, you couldn't possibly understand.

A normal person would not have even gone home with me if they weren't attracted. A normal, sane person would have said, hey, this isn't going to work out, nice meeting you, bye. Only a complete whackjob would do what you did. So quit calling the kettle black, pot.

I'm sorry you're so tragically fucked up and clueless, I really am... It's sad. Or it would be, if you weren't such a giant, unholy asshole.

She"

He, probably blind with rage, pounds out the following series of exclamation-points:

"You have a lot of anger issues!!! I never said I wasn't interested at first. It was during the drive home I realized I wasn't!!!! Can't you read!!! Jeez!!!

He"

She, still crying but kind of enjoying this level of intense communication, this catharsis, writes back snarkily:

"I can read, that just doesn't make any fucking sense!

I'm not angry... I'm sitting here laughing. Do you not realize how funny this is?? This is like a Seinfeld-episode on crack! "The Perfect Date That Became the Date From Hell" would be the title.

She"

And there it was. She got the last word (insert stadium-shaking roar of cheering here). He never wrote her again. She finds the entire exchange so goddamn hilarious, while painful and awful at the same time, that she decides to perserve it for all eternity for other people to read, so they don't make the same dumbass mistakes, and if they do, they can read this and know that they are not alone.

First I want to say thank you.
Then I will say I'm sorry.

I have to bring up the t-shirt incident -- with its pink sparkle and fury. The t-shirt was your first gift to me and it offended me. It was not my size. It was not my style. It was the opposite of what I thought I stood for. I was angry and I accused you of wanting me to be someone different. Then you were offended, too. You threw the box, got into your truck, and drove away. I should not have stayed with you after that. I would not change anything in my life, not even that, but it was a telling moment. I was given something that challenged my sense of self by someone who would not allow me to express my feelings without threat of abandonment. I had a choice -- to be myself (when I was still so fragile and unsure who that was) or to walk away from someone I had wanted in my life for such a long time.

I wish that I had had the strength and foresight to choose myself.
Not because I ever wanted to be without you, but because it would have saved me from causing you more pain. Maybe our life paths would have been worse, but still, I would have liked to be less trouble in your life. I never wanted you to think badly of me. Even now, I wish I had continued to love you from afar, so that you wouldn't have had so many reasons and opportunities to be unhappy with me.

And I would have liked to have been more accepting and kinder to you. I was judgmental to begin with, and then I spent years trying to stuff myself into that t-shirt out of fear of losing you. Sometimes, I was bitter and depressed and angry and I know I took it out on you. I never meant to hurt you -- I only wanted you to see me. But we were mirrors of disapproval; not well-matched for happily ever after.

I could not have let go. Not for my sake. Not even for yours. You had to make the decision and I'm thankful that you did.

I want you to know I finally learned the lesson you were trying to teach me. I learned to be simply grateful for gifts, even when they offend me. Sometimes those kinds of gifts are especially precious because they put cracks in your ego and let light in so that you can look around your inner space and clean yourself up. Today I am more solidly, more peacefully myself than I could have managed without those years of challenge. Even the last year, before the paperwork was done and I worried that your face would lock itself permanently in that scowling position, that was a gift.

That was when I realized how disastrously I had failed you.
Not by your definition, but by mine.

From the time that I first knew you, I wanted to teach you something. I wanted to teach you how to let go of past hurts and forgive. After your year in Iraq, I wanted more than ever to teach you the meaning of real love, that stands outside of our arbitrary conditioned triggers and makes us all the same, all one. But I didn't know how. And I'm sorry for that. Not because you expected it from me and not because I see you with flaws that need fixing, but because I want you to know the very heights of peace and happiness. But I didn't give you that gift, maybe gave you the opposite, and that's a horror. I was not wise or strong or loving enough. I am still not. But I forgive myself for that and I hope you can forgive me as well.

I hope that you have true and honest love in your life -- the kind that comforts and heals. I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry I failed to teach you about how pain can be a gift -- I didn't learn it myself until you taught me. And thank you, again, for that.

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