Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur.
I have vivid memories of mailing letters. Snail mail was a major part of my life before I became "firstname.lastname@example.org" when I was 14. (Yes, that was my first e-mail. No, I don't use it anymore).
When I was a little girl, I used to help my mom decorate letters to her sisters. Sometimes she would let me draw flowers or balloons on the envelopes. She always allowed me to sprinkle her favorite perfume on the pages. I was enthralled by this process, when I was four-years-old. Creating something beautiful and watching it disappear into a box seemed like magic.
A few years later, I started writing letters of my own, to cousins and long-distance friends. Since I was an ugly duckling who wasn't very popular as a child, my letters were mostly sarcastic, with random short stories and dry observations included. My friends and relatives loved my sense of humor and encouraged me to continue writing. I did.
And then e-mail took over, all of the sudden. I remember my dad asked me to come over to the computer after we got internet so he could show me how to use the Alta Vista search engine and create my first hotmail account through MSN.
And that was the beginning of the end.
Now, after all these years, I wish I could go back in time.
Letters were so personal, so much more real. You could sleep with a love letter under your pillow. You could store letters from friends in a special box. Reading them, clutching them in your hands, brought back memories from a forgotten past.
Why can't we have that again?
I want to lovingly craft a memory which someone will cherish forever. I want to tell them news they won't hear on Facebook or in a text.
I want to sprinkle Chanel No. 5 on a rose-colored envelope and watch it disappear into a mailbox, not caring how it got there, only knowing that it would.
That would be nice.