Sunday, November 15, 2009
You've Got Mail
All my literary friends in the blogsphere have been raving about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. You've already noted my devotion to the written word, so I dutifully put my name on the library list and patiently waited my turn.
Was it ever worth the wait.
Over the past few days, I have stayed up way past my bedtime, neglected the dust bunnies, and sipped hot tea, all to reach the satisfying end of this book.
I loved it partly because I sorely miss the art of letter-writing. When I was in high school, my best friend and I wrote newsy letters to one another all summer long. She didn't have a phone, so this tradition began out of necessity but continued out of pure pleasure. During the school year, I wrote notes to her after finishing my assignment in typing class. These turned into a lengthy continuing mystery story starring all of our friends as suspects. We thought ourselves terribly witty. To this day I wish I'd copied and saved them all.
Alas, one simply cannot picture today's emails tied in a blue hair ribbon and stored in a treasure box. It makes me wonder what else we've lost in these days of instantaneous, impermanent communication.
For instance, who doesn't love mail, the good kind, the personal kind, that lets me know someone other than a credit card company was thinking of me from far away?
Besides that, what about the fun of searching for the perfect card? Or searching for stationary that was just so you that the receiver could instantly identify the sender? I spent many a delicious hour in my college bookstore selecting cards for my mother, who had to have been the World's Best Correspondent. She sent me oodles of mail that made me the envy of all my friends.
Even after I moved closer to home and saw her often, my mom continued to write me letters. I think perhaps it was a more comfortable medium to say things that were hard to say face-to-face. She could safely comment on my dating woes or encourage me through a long and discouraging season with my health with those lovely mama words that seemed awkward in our new adult-to-adult relationship.
I think I'll whip out the yellow pages and find the nearest Hallmark store. Then I'll actually buy some stamps, something I haven't done in a long time. It's time for a newsy letter or two for a friend far away.