“What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can’t reread a phone call.”–Liz Carepenter
A couple of things happened this week that made me scratch my head and give in to the Mayan belief that the world, may indeed, be ending. Like:
1. Gossip Girl turned out to be a lonely boy from Brooklyn
2. Instagram is going to sell my selfies (photos of my face taken by me, for me) for cold, hard, cash
3. A music star proposed to the love of his life on Twitter! There’s nothing like saying I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you in 140 characters or less.
I started thinking back to the days when I used to get a Capri Sun sugar rush thrill from ripping a sheet of paper out of my composition book, uncapping a milky pen and writing a note to a pal that would travel across classrooms, lunchrooms, in the middle of science experiments, during the mile run in P.E., passing through the sweaty fingers of undercover comrades enlisted in carrying out this note passing mission. Of days when saying hello to someone, asking them to play on an upcoming Saturday afternoon, oozing over a cute boy that passed you in the halls, required carefully selected diction, the manual crossing of t’s and dotting of i’s, and patience.
I miss the power of a written letter that goes through the mail system and lingers with anticipation as it rubs against the emotion of thousands of other enclosed pieces of paper.
A proposal, an ultimatum, a chaotically simple “I miss you” read between the lines of scrambled egg-like verses looking like a Shakespearean modern-day sonnet, laced with Justin Bieber lyrics and run on sentences. Starting off with confidence, a standard “Dear ___,” and leaving all intentions with that first comma. Eventually mustering up the courage to end it all, whatever it was that you wrote, with an “I love you”.
A couple of days ago, I ordered a few “Happy New Year” personalized greeting cards, wrote a message on the back of each one, scurried through my drawers for stamps and sent them out. Reminding just a hand full of people, that though I may say it in passing or via social media, that I do appreciate and love them.
There’s something charming about holding a piece of paper in your hands (don’t even get me started on books!). I want to see things, feel them with my heart and my hands, allowing them to bend when i bend and flatten out when i desperately want to remember a person, a place or a thing. I want to recognize time through jaded corners of aged paper and emotion through tear stains and giant red x’s drawn across a page. I want to be able to pin a letter up on an overcrowded cork bulletin board, covering up some very important t0-do list. I want to rumble with emotion by crumpling up a letter in anger, tearing it into a million shreds will give me more satisfaction than throwing my phone against a wall or deleting a text message out of pure, unadulterated rage.
This year, when I wanted to tell those who have clinged on to my unparalleled, unmatching, cheap polyester leopard short wearing ways, that I truly loved them and was very thankful for their love, I wanted them to be able to look back, whenever they wanted, and know that I meant it.
Now and forever. (That is if they can distinguish the handwriting of a girl who often writes faster than she can think).
[To all those traveling for the holidays, be safe and mail be a postcard! I’ll be here, in NYC, fighting off cold weather and an insane amount of tourists.]
Oh, one more thing! Before you leave, scroll up and subscribe to The Things I Learned From in the magenta box on the right. If the world does not end today, I promise to send you a love note in the form of a brand new blog post once a week!
(More Mayans, More Problems)