Lamenting the loss of letter writing

I used to write letters all the time. During high school I’d compose an angsty, drama filled letter during every period when I was torn from verbal contact with my friends for longer than 5 minutes. I seriously don’t know how I managed to pass school subjects with all that letter writing during class time. Oh yeah, and I’m pretty sure I signed off my letters with hearts then too. How terribly 16 year old of me.

I still have almost all of the notes and letters I received during intermediate and high school. They are the most hilarious read. I can’t believe how tragic we were.

Tonight I wrote a letter for the first time in aaaaaaaaages. An actual, proper, real live letter. That I will put in the post… errrr… one day. And I think that’s usually my problem: making it to the post office.

When I was writing that letter, I realised that I miss it. And that I’d like to do it more. I do realise the ridiculousness of blogging about a lack of letter writing, given that it is probably a fairly large contributor but I think I can do both. So starting tomorrow I’m going to transcribe flowing missives to my grandmother, send mail to Norway (my most frequent teenage correspondent was Megan who now lives here), and pen notes to neat friends. Hopefully it’ll encourage Hannah, who owes her friend Ella a post card or two.

I will revive my letter collection! (And somehow keep blogging!)

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7 thoughts on “Lamenting the loss of letter writing

  1. In the first year DH and I were together he went overseas for three months and we wrote letters to each other. I still have them and love them all.
    One of the best parts of writing letters is receiving them back – any mail that's not a bill is awesome!

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  2. Funny you write (hehe, type) this as I've been feeling so sad that our kids are growing up without much snail mail around. I've been trying to encourage E to write to Han but short of me standing over her and telling her how to spell each word, I haven't had much luck! Might try again soon.

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  3. yeah getting the boys to write to pen friends is like getting blood out of a stone. 'But I don't know what to write about' they wail as if we never do ANYTHING EVER!

    Sigh.

    I too remember those long long long angst-ridden letters of my teens. I even tried it with dh when we first met, but he's never written a letter (or read a novel) in his life, except to complain or make a demand.

    I miss it. I'm not sure I could even write a letter now, without spellcheck and 'cut and paste' options. Perhaps I should try.

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  4. Nikki:

    Great post! I love letter writing myself and have lamented it much the same as you. I got back at it myself last week when a co-worker directed me to The Things Unsaid Project (www.thingsunsaidproject.wordpress.com). The creators insist on handwritten letters, which I think is so vital in this age of e-mail and texting. There's something special about handwriting that letter, sealing it in an envelope, and sending it off. It's been lost, but hopefully not for good.

    Keep up the good work!

    Tina

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  5. I have been weeding my way through shoeboxes-full of the same type of specimen. I also spent up to a period on the headers of such letters…apparently. I have the replies, mostly…very few of my own. Parallel sortaverses!

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  6. hah! Totally agree Nix! Be careful with the writing overseas though, the pleasure is somewhat lessened when you receive a letter where everything in it has already been discussed and resolved via the internet in the time it took the letter to fly around the world. Grandmothers are prime writing buddies though!

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