How to Write a Love Letter 

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Dont write it on the legal pad you use for class notes and grocery lists. Buy some paper from the stationery store. Make sure it doesnt look like paper from the stationery store. Buy a pen that costs more than twenty cents.

Start with a joke, like, maybe, how cheese makes her fart or about that time in her tent you laughed so hard you peed yourself. Keep it light. Tell her what youve been up to.

Tell her that you ate avocados the other day the way she taught you to eat them: with balsamic vinegar and a spoon. Dont tell her it was with that cute Dutch girl from your anatomy class. Dont tell her what happened after the avocados.

Remind her of the time she got drunk and chased a peacock onto the roof of the only French chateaux in Salt Lake City. Or how the two of you got lost hiking up Cadillac Mountain. Or about the cartoons you used to hide in her desk before her morning shift. Talk about ice skating, art shows, and wild plums.

Dont tell her that you lost the book she gave you, or that youve forgotten what her favorite color is.

Tell her that you finally hired a carpenter to fix that creaky step in your apartment. Make sure you say your apartment, not our apartment. Ask her about the weather. Ask her if the people there are nice.

If you have to tell her that you love her, tell it to her straight. Dont use big words like infatuation or adoration. Dont use boring words like eternal or undying; you might as well talk about marriage, mortgages, and jointly-filed taxes. Tell her the truth, so shell believe it, but dont tell her all of the truth.

Dont tell her about the empty bottle of coffee brandy from the night you dropped her off at Logan. Or about the times youve tried to call. Or that you deleted your Facebook.

Tell her everything you need to tell her but dont tell her any more than that.

When you finish, make sure the address matches exactly the one she wrote down. It will look funny because they do these things differently in Scotland. Double check it on Google maps. Triple check it. Dont remind yourself that her ex-boyfriend is Scottish.

Buy the correct amount of postage and make sure that the person at the post office knows that its international mail. Buy extra postage just in case. Seal the letter with tape. Dont mail it.

Put it in your desk drawer, in your trash can, in the paper shredder at school. Better yet, burn it. Whatever you do, dont mail it.

Find something to distract yourself. Try to remember what you liked to do before you met her. Call up that girl from your anatomy class – the cute one with the blonde hair. Ask her if she feels like avocados.

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SC Slater never forgave his parents for naming him SC. After a brief and unsuccessful career as a roofer in Charleston, Slater turned to writing as the only other occupation in which his given name would not appear entirely ridiculous. Find him online at:

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