“I love the rebelliousness of snail mail, and I love anything that can arrive with a postage stamp. There’s something about that person’s breath and hands on the letter.” ~Diane Lane
I swear I would have fit in as a fifties house wife: cooking, cleaning, and a love for good ole fashioned snail mail.
There is some thing about snail mail that I absolutely love. I love receiving it and what is more, I love sending it.
It isn’t because my handwriting is spectacular, (far, FAR from it) or I love licking envelopes (anyone who does needs to reevaluate). Oh no despite shoddy handwriting, I love personalizing cards. I love putting some TLC behind them. It is why I have as yet to make generic christmas cards. Believe me, THAT would make life a heck of a lot easier during the Holiday season. But alas it takes away from what snail mail actually is.
My writing professors, publishers and editors have drilled into me and every author out there, “Know your audience.” Snail mail is that. It is the personalization. The sending someone a note that lets you know you are thinking of them. It is always easy to text or send a quick email. Sending a letter is much more time consuming and isn’t instant gratification, but when it does finally arrive, it means so much more.
Since April I have been away pretty much every weekend. Having arrived back last week to my concrete jungle, I was sorely behind, not just on thank yous for birthday presents (FYI my birthday was in June!), but also wedding gifts. I know you have a year, but it is still a little embarrassing. Thankfully I gave my one friend her card three months late face to face when I was home in August. And I sent my other friend her wedding present yesterday. I also caught up on all my thank yous and correspondence. Which were a lot!
But I didn’t feel rushed or panicked. As I sign, sealed, and stamped each letter, I felt gratitude that I still have a bit of love for the ole fashioned in me and will hopefully make someones day.
Let’s face it in a world where the post office has cut back due to lack of need, and most people receive bills and maybe a catalogue or two, it is nice to get a paper hello you can hold.
For me, it always makes my day. I remember the days of pen-pals when you would write into American Girl Magazine and they would assign you a friend and you would correspond with them. I use to rush to my dad every day when he got home to see if I had a letter.
When my childhood best friend moved to Wyoming long before the days of Facebook, she and I use to write letters to stay connected. It worked. To this day we still talk. My cousins and I were also pen-pals receiving snail mail from them use to make me smile hearing about their days in Virginia and Texas. In fact my cousin and I still mail letters and we are only an hour away from each other!
Probably the biggest influence in my snail mail writing career was my sister. We grew up in the days of Lisa Frank (remember her?) being obsessed with colorful stationary and leaving each other little notes all around the house for each other. There was nothing like going to the Paper Store or Hallmark picking out stationary to jot out personal antidotes to people. But especially to my sister.
By the time she went to college, email had become popular and AIM was the social media weapon of choice. (I still remember harassing my brothers friends with made up names) It didn’t stop us from corresponding the old fashioned way. Sending unique postcards or note cards with sappy sayings. I still have each and everyone of the letters she sent me. In fact it was through those, that I used her signatures and handwriting to get my tattoos.
The nostalgia of snail mail is still as strong and present as ever. At least with me. After all it is the little things in life. Technology is great, but going back to basics can be pretty amazing too.
Do you send snail mail?