Sunday, August 06, 2006


Remember days of pen pals and writing old fashioned letters? I am not certain what had me thinking of this the other day, but I found myself reminiscing days long gone where I'd write page after page of news and events to my Long Island friend Laura. We'd decorate the letters with stickers, enclose little poems, photos, send along postcards, and even swap books back and forth. Then when I went away to college, the notion took hold again. With many of us spread across the northeast corridor, one in the Midwest, another in California, our letters and care packages schlepped across states and into our tiny post office sized dorm mailboxes. Everyday a trip to mailbox was exciting...who knew what you'd get and from whom?

Far be it from me to turn my nose up at the wonders of technology. When I started college in 1996, it was all so new, this emailing business. The clients we use today, at least to my knowledge, were not mainstream. Telnet, Polaris? and Gopher were our new friends/worst enemies as we fumbled our way through the new programs, desperately trying to communicate with our friends far and away. I also believe this is when I first started hating the dreaded "Fw" because while "spam" wasn't part our daily vocabulary, it almost always meant some chain to which I was a necessary link and if I broke it by not passing it along to 10 people in the next 5 minutes I was sure to have horrible luck for the next 10 years.

But I have digressed. It's exploded in the last 10 years and I do appreciate being able to whip together a photo and send it on its merry way to Jocelyn in TX instead of her having to wait a week or two. Even this blog serves as instant gratification for sharing ideas, news, photos. Instantaneously.

But with the death of the letter also died anticipation, excitement, and patience. Registering at Macy's during the wedding planning also meant on any given day, I could arrive home and see a box waiting for me. I spent 2 months being treated to gifts gracing me with their presence every week. Just last week I ordered shoes from Amazon for my friend's wedding and I waited anxiously for 3 days until the box arrived on my front stoop. Not only is it great to get the package, but because the postal service knows better than to perfect its delivery times, it keeps us guessing - will it be here today? Tomorrow?

I think I will try to bring the lost art of letter writing back. There's something very personal and sweet when you see someone's printing or handwriting across a card or paper, their thoughts, stream of consciousness. I'll dress them up with some stickers, poems, photos...drag my ass to the post office for an envelope and postage and wish it well on its journey either across town or across a few states.

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