Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Last week I received a handwritten note. In the mail. It wasn't an invitation to a party or a birthday card. It was just a note because someone had thought of me. It was the nicest feeling to know someone had been so generous as to give me the gift of their handwriting and of their time.

Funnily enough, I had made a New Year's resolution to send more handwritten notes to friends. My girlfriend's note reminded me I haven't written a single letter to a single person all year (NY Resolution fail - not the only one for the year, I'm sure).

Back in high school I was a voracious letter writer. I had pen pals all over the eastern seaboard, and I wrote love letters to a bunch of guys (and they responded, wonderfully enough!). I sorted through my box of high school memorabilia a few months ago and was reminded of my high school self - impulsive, gossipy, dreadfully sarcastic and obsessed with inspirational quotes. Not much has changed!

Of course email wasn't really around then (erghh so OLD) and you certainly couldn't backspace, which meant that you thought a little more about what you said before putting it into paper's perpetuity. You had to think about your spelling, and oftentimes the amount you cared about someone was measured by the number of pages you wrote. Most gloriously, once you'd popped your envelope into a mail box - history's equivalent of pressing send - you could never remember quite what you'd written which, depending on the addressee, sent either a shiver of horror at revealing too much of yourself, or smacking your forehead as you realised the morsel of gossip you'd forgotten to mention.

Simple pleasures.

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