Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Yesterday I wrote some long-overdue letters.I had been putting them off because, let's be honest, they take a while to compose. But the feeling of satisfaction I got upon sealing the envelope, drawing those arrows and putting on a stamp was divine.
The United States Postal Service is an institution many Americans tend to overlook. But it's rather difficult to imagine coming home for the day and not having mail to check, or being unable to send a postcard across state lines. The USPS is a staple of America, but with email drastically decreasing the volume of mail being sent, there are rumors that it won't even exist in 10 years. But what if Americans started writing letters again?
Most millennials I know have been using computers since grade school, and some have never even penned and mailed a letter. While email is a wonderful tool, there are a number or arguments for letter writing, the first of these being aesthetics. Mail has lots of pretty potential, and it can often be an expression of yourself to others. New writers should first consider their stationery: Try to choose something fairly versatile, on which you can pen letters both to grandma and your best friend. There are sites where you can customize your own stationery and also plenty of pre-printed options. One of my friends just decorates the paper herself. This same friend also adds a creative touch to her letters, one that gets compliments every time someone sees it -- a custom wax seal. Sealing your letter with wax is a surefire way to impress the receiver, and gives it a final creative touch.
The most impressive aspect of a letter, though, is the fact that you've taken the time to pen it. Most of us are glued to the computer during the day, and it's not difficult to throw together a nice email in the intermission between working on a project and checking Twitter. Letters take time to not only compose, but to consider the message being sent (not having a delete key makes one much more aware of what she's writing). A decent two-page letter takes at least a half hour to pen, and your recipient is sure to know she holds a special place in your heart upon seeing the time you've devoted to her from a distance.
Once you find a good pen pal (or three), there will be a certain thrill that accompanies your daily mail check. Nothing matches having a physical sign of friendship or love unexpectedly arrive at your doorstep, especially if that sign is filled with fun goodies (I received a letter last week with a Russian prayer card and vintage photo negatives folded inside it). Nab a cute box to store your letters in, and you'll have great mementos to pore over for years. It rather beats just saving something to a desktop folder.
(Originally posted by me on Lovelyish)