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The “manly skills” department usually focuses on things like chopping lumber and applying sunscreen, but one of our most-prized abilities just got its due thanks to Tom Chiarella’s ode to the well-written love letter. If we were going to take a shot at rebuilding masculinity, this is where we’d start.

Here’s the key: no bullshit. There’s a workmanlike emotional honesty to a well-penned love letter; that means nothing fluffy and nothing you’re not sure is true. Sincerity and unguarded emotion are hard to ignore. And if that leads to a little more sincerity in the rest of your life, all the better. At the very least, it’ll give you more to write about.

And for god’s sake, don’t use a printer.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom