Tamera Schlueter Queen Dufus’ Guide to Love Letters 101

I frequently write about my husband. The poor guy fields a lot of Hunka Burnin’ Hubby jokes, along with the occasional “you’re not what I expected” proclamation. He gets a big charge out of those, especially the woman who stared at him squinty-eyed and deadpanned, “I thought you’d be taller.”

I often think of switching to topics that have nothing to do with my family, like politics, food, running, cats, or fungus. I’m kidding of course. I could never write a weekly column about cats. But then I remember the guy who said, “I wish my wife would say nice things about me once in a while.”

He said it as a joke, delivered in the way a guy might look into a neighbor’s garage and murmur, “Man, that boat kicks bass.” But it started me thinking about the power of letters strung together into sentences and spilled onto a page.

I started pondering how I might help women write mushy, ridiculous love letters to their husbands. If you’re interested in a writing lesson, dig out a pen and paper and pull up a chair. Welcome to my course, “Queen Dufus’ Sure-fire Tips for Writing Love Letters That Make Husbands Smile.”

Let’s begin by axing the blood sport of man bashing. As a wife of 30 years, and the mother of two adult sons, man bashing drives me nuts. One gender does not build itself up by ripping the other one down. So there will be no shots about leaving the seat up or socks on the floor, or of being obsessed with golf or football. In the grand scope of life, that stuff is petty. Occasionally maddening, I’ll admit, but petty nonetheless. Man bashing is toast.

Next up is appreciation. Say nice things about your husband. Little stuff counts. Maybe he’s an ace at lawn work, or fixing a leaky roof. Perhaps he’s a boss at making you laugh, or he gases up your car in sub-zero temps and 30 mph wind gusts. Is he a great dad? Is he sweet to you? Does he clean up backyard land mines left by the dog? Does he protect his family from bears or bogeymen? Tell him so. Trust me, it’ll make him walk tall and feel manly.

I’ll leave the mushy stuff to you, but be sure to tell him he’s a fine chunk of change. Guys want to know their wives think they’re handsome, so spread it on thick.

A few of you might be gagging, and that’s fair. Over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, which is tragic. If that happened to you, I’m sorry. Some of you might be in marriages that couldn’t be fixed with a thousand love letters. I’m sorry for that, too. But if your marriage is solid, or could use a little fine-tuning, a love letter is worth the risk of embarrassment. Sure, there’s a small chance it could go over like a lead balloon. But I’m willing to bet he’ll love every ridiculous, heartfelt word.

Here, I’ll even get you started:

“Dear (insert real or hilarious pet name here):

“I think you’re finer than sirloin steak and potatoes, with apple pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Thanks for keeping the gutters from falling off the house, and for making me laugh during stressful times when I’m tempted to lock myself in a closet with a sheet cake and a fork. You’re a stellar husband and dad, and I wouldn’t trade you for gold-plated golf clubs or Packers season tickets. And you are far better looking than the neighbor’s bass boat.” Deliver it with attitude and a big, sloppy smooch.

Queen Dufus thanks you for your interest, and wishes you a love-lettered, super mushy week.

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