(Hi Mom! I’m writing about you in the third person. Hope you don’t mind)
A couple years ago, I got my mother a one-way email machine. She’s not a computer person but loves to get mail. I however, live in 2010 (or then 2008 to be more precise) and I am not in a paper-envelope-stamp writing habit. It’s thrilling to get a real ‘live’ card or letter in the mail, but I am not the poster child for sending them.
I used to be. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, I adored my collection of blank cards. I’d find those sections of gift, book or even (remember these?) stationary shops and happily paw through the designs. Funny, whimsical, poignant or just plain pretty, I loved them. Granted, none of them included a dancing gopher that actually moved and sang, but they were delightful all the same. I still have some. They’re in a little leather box just waiting.
When I wanted to drop a line to a friend, that’s when they came out. Sometimes the card that I found was so delicious that it would prompt the letter to get sent a bit faster than it might have otherwise. Invariably, I’d get a card in return. I could tell that she (usually a she) had had a similar experience sorting through her favorite card shops and the little treasure in my hand came from that trove.
Letter writing is not a lost art. The medium has changed. Now, I mostly email. I don’t text because I just don’t. When I get the new iPhone, I will probably text more, but until then I’m good without it. I still write cards and letters, but there’s a blue moon shining clearly through the window.
There’s a new etiquette to writing for personal communication. I’ve seen internet articles about it. Irony never goes out of style.
So, my mom gets posts on her email machine. I subscribe to my own blog so that it’s sent to me in email form, add a pithy comment, and then forward it to her. A couple of pre-set times a day, any email that she’s received automatically prints out and is waiting for her to read. If she wants to respond, then she writes me a letter.
I keep those letters.
Susan Scot Fry
Update…There are many words battling for predominance this morning. I hope to make peace enough to hear them clearly.