Literal Letters

Today we were shocked, shocked I say, to find a small card in the mail.

Not a come-on from a dentist or politician. Not another (eternal) medical bill. Not ad No. 531531593 from wedding vendors seeking our business. Not that thick bundle of grocery store stuffers we get each week (it would kill you nerds to put them in the newspaper where they belong?)

A hand-addressed card, sent to both of us and sealed in an actual paper envelope that did not involve a cellophane window. I got all excited for a moment.

Then it turned out to be a gracious card from the jeweler where we bought our rings. He thanked us for our business and said he was very excited to see our final choice on my wedding band. Yeah, me too.

It occurred to me that we very rarely get actual letters. I send them from time to time, to my grandmother who does not partake of the internet. Everyone else is on Facebook. What would you say in a letter that won't reach your friend for days or even a week, when you will talk to them three or four times by 'net beforehand?

And yet there's something lovely about actual mail. Something tangible and real.

Jimmy knows my antipathy toward the mailbox: it's a box full of stress, of bills and statements and pending headaches and really, the water bill is up AGAIN? I can only deal with the mail at certain times, when I am well-caffeinated and at my desk. Bringing in the mail and dumping it on the dining room table is sure to send me from zero to bitch in 2.5 seconds. I do NOT want to deal with it right now, and now you've made a mess. Poor Jimmy.

Why? Because that's all that ever comes in the mail. It's always give me money, give me money, give me money. It's a pile of recyclable stress and annoyance. Once I got a fortune cookie that said "Good things will come to you by mail." I taped it to the inside lid of our mailbox, in hopes of creating positive energy around the mail. It didn't work.

The nice little card from the jeweler reminded me that there was some kind of month-long schtick wherein the participants would send letters, postcards or some kind of written something to people every day for a month. It was a bad month for me, so I didn't participate. However, I thought the idea was lovely, and eagerly watched its progress. Alas, nobody sent me anything. Sniff.

Now I'm thinking about doing it myself. Maybe not every day - after all, March is insane for us and I can't even tell you how the Desk of Endless Tasks (tm Allan Gilbreath) has taken over my life lately. But if I sent a letter once a week, and not just to my grandmother... wouldn't that be lovely for others? And then might they be spurred to send a letter a week to other people? Or even to me?

I'm sure I can come up with something more interesting to say than the stuff on Facebook. I mean, how much FB can we really take before the headdesk gets to be too much? A little sanity, a little old-fashioned "hello, how are you?" can't kill us.


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