Why do we pretend to enjoy writing letters? You know you do.
Everyone is into “What’s in.” And “what’s in” is basically “what is not in.” Does that make sense?
Let me explain.
We live in a modern day world- hello, I’m telling you a story via INTERNET- doesn’t get more technologically advanced than that. 10 years ago, this would still be a sort of new idea. A new way of storytelling. This isn’t a physical book. But it seems the notion in our pop culture is to adore the things we very much don’t believe in anymore, or more specifically using, like a tea kettle when there’s a keurig, a kindle when there’s a 8 pound book, and letters when there’s email.
I admit, I am a big offender of stating I enjoy this “fun” activity of letter writing. I always tell people writing letters is one of my quirky hobbies, and come to think of it, it sort of is. Writing letters is fun for me; funny get well’s to Pop pop Tom, postcards from my semester abroad (Paris, Rome, London oh my!) But like I said, I like to WRITE letters. Not send. When I am forced to write and send a letter- I loathe the process. Game over of enjoyable writing for me- and I bet you.
If you think about it for a second or two, you will get what I mean.
1…2… ok. I’ll explain some more.
Writing letters is a romantic idea- you imagine fresh paper, a fury of thoughts blasting through the pen in your hand. Maybe you even envision a candle burning in the background (I do). You have gotten your emotions out just the way you wanted, you said exactly what you wanted to say, and you lick the envelope shut with a feeling of approval. Task completed with satisfaction and delight.
That is until you have to put a stamp on the envelope to send it. And you don’t have a stamp. Fury ensues.
I don’t know about you, but I never have stamps. So when I received a few handwritten cards this past month for my birthday, obviously I felt obliged to send a thank you card. Which is weird right? Here it is, someone feels like they HAVE to send me something, and then that makes ME have to feel like I have to send one back. No one wants to do this particular letter chain. Which makes me say: we all dislike letter writing. Socially forced letter writing is like adding a task to our daily planner, which for people today, is just too hard.
Anyways, I find myself enjoying all the nice notes from godparents and family friends that they took the time to write for me. I get right into sending the boring thank you note. “Thanks so much, hope all is well, weathers been great right? thanks again, bye!” I hate myself for not being able to be more endearing, more enticing- but is that allowed in a thank you note? What’s the protocol? Is sending a more in depth letter breaking the code of “I say happy birthday you say thank you end of convo” chain?
Does anyone really care? Or do we all just feel like it’s another thing to get done?
After writing a handful of these thank yous, I realize once again I have no stamps in my desk. The tiny spark I felt of having my own handwritten green and gold polka dot cover thank you notes ready to be sent quickly diminished because it had been shot by not having that little white square.
I tell myself I will get one first thing tomorrow. But then that first thing was making a cup of coffee, which led to running to my internship, then back home to grab my books, to night class- and when I was finally done at 9:30pm- the post office was closed. This routine of “tomorrow” lasted a whole week.
I am ashamed of myself for putting something like getting a stamp so last minute when the letters were going to people who obviously care enough about me to send me a letter— with a stamp. Is that life? Are we that busy, imagine real people with big time consuming jobs (I’m just a college student for Pete’s sake), that we can’t even get to the post office to get a stamp? Is this why we have fallen to the impersonal email, the mass text, the Facebook message?
Overall, I guess I can say I like the process of writing a letter- letting my words flow, being personal, feeling “old school” and maybe slightly cooler than my 21st century peers who are engrained in social media. But at the same time, I hate the process. “Signed, sealed, and delivered” seems to be as hard as mastering rocket science in this particular case.
What does it take to be so “un-modern” in this modern filled world? Let me know, preferably in a hand written (and stamped) letter. ;)