Wednesday, February 13, 2013
When I was 8 I had a pen pal in England. For the life of me I canít recall where he lived. I do remember that his name was Johnny. His mom had been my momís pen pal since the late 1930ís. I used to love to look at those special overseas air mail envelopes my mom would get in the mail. The stamps were exotic and you have to remember this was in the ancient times, long before Al Gore even thought about inventing the internet. I was fascinated by the pictures my momís pen pal would send. It was 1961 and Queen Elizabeth II was young and graceful. Momís pen pal would send her photos and post cards and I would sit and look at them for hours.
When mom thought I was old enough she told me I could start writing to her son. As I write I have to sit and laugh. I get fidgety today if I donít get an answer to my emails in 30 minutes. Johnnyís letters would take two to three weeks to reach me and mine to him. There were no great revelations just two eight year olds scrawling lines on a page and being so amazed and full of wonder when the distant postmarks reached them.
Iíll be honest I miss being a pen pal. Oh, I know Spark gives me an opportunity to know, love and communicate with people all over the world that I otherwise wouldnít know and yes I know we live in a world where high anxiety creeps across our souls every time we even think of divulging any personal information about ourselves. But going to the mail box or post office just isnít the same anymore. Thereís no sense of anticipation and Iím too old to look forward to the Victoriaís Secret catalogue.
Writing a letter requires planning, precision and attention to detail. Iím all for technology but there is still part of me that wants to wake up each day and wonder if a surprise will be waiting for me in the mail box.