Thursday, March 1, 2007

Letter Better Late than Never?

Today I received a letter from a friend, an actual handwritten letter! It was delivered by mail—you know the guys in the quaint little blue suits that you speed by all day. At first I felt nostalgic and kind of tickled. But about a nanosecond later I felt just plain old. I’m not sure anyone under 30 has ever written or received a handwritten letter. And for those 20 or younger, I should probably explain that a letter is a means of communication that your ancestors used to use to exchange greetings and information. It was kind of like an e-mail or an IM except that it was produced with a pen (these you might still recognize from high school multiple choice exams) and it was visually represented not on a computer, blackberry or other PDA screen but rather on paper. Paper, I assume, you probably still have a clear notion of thanks to unsolicited credit card balance transfer checks and, of course, Valpacks—will they never die? No, I don’t need coupons for laundry detergent! I have my laundry picked up, cleaned and dropped off by immigrants every week as do all civilized individuals; I’m not a Neanderthal!

I’m not sure how to respond to the letter. Do I “bite,” do I play along by writing one in response myself? This seems rather complicated. Can paper and pens be delivered 24/7 or are they a novelty item with a two (or more?!) day shipping delay? On what web site can I place the order? How will my speling and gramaticul mistakes be be corrected?

Once upon a time the major combat fronts against signs of aging were more or less limited to the world of cosmetics. Now, the danger of exposing yourself is everywhere. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve spent on botox, liposuction, chemical peels, plastic surgery, dye jobs… Once you’ve accidentally asked someone to hold on while you look for something in the other room (despite the fact that you are holding a cordless, portable phone in your hand) the game is over. And wouldn’t you know it, I was just getting over this horrifying gaffe when I received the handwritten letter! Damn! Now I’m probably going to need to schedule another web cam teleconference with my therapist for this week. Thanks a lot, Emily!

Your dear friend, Blue Genes


Laurie said...

I love getting letters but not as much as my daughters do. They even write them too.

I believe, pens can usually be found in one's couch. At least every place I've ever lived that's been the case...

Robert said...

I agree with Laurie, bite, dig out the pen from the car, usually under the back seat or stuck to the bottom of the glove compartment with a sugary sweet (candy)! Find some paper in the printer tray and if you like me need help with straight lines......Our Postmen get issued with trainers (the shoe type) and a red van with a crown on it.

My elder daughter is a great letter writer, once every ten years but she does do beautiful Advent Calendars.

Robert said...

I have answered yours on mine but thought I would add some more here.

Still havn't found the French dictonary yet!

Many people of my age and older have are using the computer within certain boundaries, but there are a few who will have nothing to do with them. My elder sister would like to but finds it very difficult to master the mouse. This makes it a terrible struggle. She uses a mobile phone now! There is a sculptors’ supplier I came across recently who has no email or website which I found astounding and rather irritating.

I have no idea what business you are in but I enjoy speculating on what it could be. Don’t tell us, speculation is fun. In my work I have to make notes quite regularly. I do not have the computer in my studio, far too big a distraction.