Before There Were Emails, There Were Letters (600 Of Them)
Here’s your daily dose of sweetness: a couple in England who fell in love as teenagers writing letters back and forth during WWII is celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this week. Geoff and Pat Bunyan, now 83 and 82, became friends in 1945 shortly before Geoff was deployed to fight in the war. Over the next several years (Geoff remained overseas after the war ended to “clean up the mess”), the two sent a whopping 600 letters to each other, numbering each one to keep track of them. Though the letters began with a friendly tone, as the two shared stories and opened up to each other, their correspondence took a more romantic turn. Soon, they were proclaiming their love to one another, looking forward to the day Geoff would return to England and they could be together. When Geoff finally returned home in 1948 — three years after he left! — he married Pat and the two of them bought a house together, which they still live in to this day. They’ve kept every one of the 600 letters they wrote, and as they celebrate their diamond anniversary, they’ve pulled them out to share with family and friends — and now the internet. In one letter, written in January, 1947, Pat writes: “I’m glad you think yourself lucky but I can’t think why. I’m quite ordinary really darling and it’s only because you love me that you think I’m wonderful. It’s wonderful loving someone like you. I’m so glad I fell in love with you first.” Geoff replied to Pat a few weeks later, writing: “You have the nerve to say you’re quite ordinary and point out that it’s only because I love you that I think you’re wonderful. Maybe so, but have you thought that perhaps I’m in love with you because you are wonderful… I am lucky to have such a girl as you in love with me.” Everyone together now: awww.
Not unsurprisingly, the Bunyans credit those letters for their still being together 60 years later. “We became friends before we became lovers,” Geoff explains, “and those letters helped us get to know each other properly. I think that’s why we’re still together today.” As for the other secrets to their success and longevity as a couple, Geoff says: “We have both worked hard, and believe in the division of labor, but we have always shown integrity and respect. We have never gone to sleep on a quarrel, and when we were young we had a great sex life, and have been very lucky with children.”
This story is a great reminder that I still need to actually print all those emails my now-husband and I wrote to each other several years ago in the weeks before we met face-to-face. Those notes are sweet, too, but not quite the same as yellowed, hand-written letters sent across the miles during wartime. Le sigh. [via Daily Mail]