Mr. Postman, Have You Got a Letter for Me?

Despite my abject social skills, I did manage to make some friends while at University. Some came from various regions of Canada, though many were from overseas. I would say the majority where from overseas.

At the end of the school year, when people were returning home, I would get their address (note, I only get addresses of people I am interested in. I am not polite enough to ask for an addresses I do not intend to use).

I would then write a letter and mail it a week before they left, so the letter would arrive around the same time they did. It was a real letter, several pages long, no an anemic postcard with a trite “Welcome Home!” message along with "Don't forget to keep in touch" admonishment.

I thought they would appreciate receiving a letter; knowing that they had not been forgotten once leaving Canada. Maybe it was naïve, but it was remarkably effective. I always received effusive replies of thanks back.

Now there is only one left and pen and paper have long since given way to e-mail.

I don't remember where I grabbed the image from (it is from a collection of photos I keep and, sadly, don't track where I get them from). It is available from a number of places on the web. If you know who the credit belongs to, let me know.


KayMac said…
while i like the convenience of email and text messaging...i miss getting letters in the mail. just something fun and exciting about that.
Richard said…
kaymac: e-mails are not the same as letters. Letters are crafted (at least the way I write them). Even if I spend a lot of time on an e-mail, it is never as polished and smooth as a letter. Besides which, I find e-mails are not really suited to long compositions (I have written some long e-mails), but they are best when 1-3 paragraphs long.
b said…
I love paper letters. Not only are they beautiful to me but they are special gifts...a thoughtfulness and form of communication that email cannot touch. The person's handwriting, the paper written on, the postmark, the envelope, the distance it came from, the sentiment.
Letter writing is a lost art and that's why it's so special to get a REAL piece of writing, snail mail or just given to you.

I only keep up with about 2 people from university but way more from high school as they all still live in that area as do their parents and families. Even though it's only an hour's drive, I sadly rely on e-mail too much as well.

I love all the neat kinds of note paper one can buy but surely, Hallmark and Carlton cards would be going out of business if they relied on that part of sales!
Richard said…
breal: I agree. I also used to slip something into the letter (obviously small and flat). I looked for cute things, simple expressions of friendship. For a while, Pogs had a number of nice ones.

I also used to cover my letters with all sorts of stickers. Not just one or two, but maybe a dozen small ones.

The sentiment for letters is old. Even Seneca wrote about it almost 2000 years ago.

MOI: it may be a lost art, but on the other hand, communication is much easier and reliable now than it ever has been. Losing touch with someone should be pretty nigh impossible.

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