Jessie Ren Marshall is a writer and English teacher. This means grammar, syntax, sentence structure and spelling are important to her. Mistakes in writing drive her nuts. She says spelling correctly is “Something you need to learn and get it right!” She thinks that people definitely judge you by how you write and put your words together.
But Jessie met James at a friend's wedding in Hawaii, this Modern Love video from the New York Times recalls . He was goofy and fun, and at the end of the night they went and sat on a bench overlooking the ocean and he said that he really liked her — something she was not used to hearing from guys she had been dating back in New York. After their time in Hawaii, Jessie went back to New York and James went back to North Carolina. She thought it was going to be a one-night fling and that she would never see or hear from him again, but he kept in touch by sending emails.
Emails like, “To nite I can not sleep so I will play songs to u, for Jessie, about Jessie, my inspiration. I thinking of you And nobody else, I haven’t eyes for anyone else, but u!”
Jessie couldn’t help but notice all of the spelling and grammatical errors and started wondering if that meant he wasn’t the right guy for her. She had to tell herself that the way he wrote things wasn’t important; it was what he said that was important. She tried to write back using clever wordplay, but that didn’t resonate with James. The only thing that did was showing real emotion.
Bonus info: Make sure to check out Jessie Ren Marshall’s full Modern Love essay, “Learning To Silence My Inner Editor.”