I must tread lightly when writing this. I am embarking on a topic that might be sensitive, and could be taken as a personal criticism by many of my readers. Dear friends, please know that I am not singling any one person out, rather I am commenting on what I view as a downfall of our web 2.0 culture.
I am talking about mail, or more precisely, the lack there of. With the popularity and ease of email, Twitter and Facebook, the postal service is about to shut their doors. Nobody seems to have use for a handwritten letter these days. I am as guilty as the next person. Life is busy. I rarely have a book of stamps on hand, and God only knows where my address book is. So when it comes time for a birthday a simple "Happy BDay! Have a great day!" on my friend's Facebook wall is the usual protocol. Lame.
When I was younger each year I looked forward to a mailbox full of colorful envelopes on the anniversary of my birth. It was such a joy to open each card, and then display them on my dresser for the coming month. When I was in college, I may have had an email address, but I did not use it. Shocking I know, but this was 1992-1996. We sent hand written letters to one another. I have a box full of them. I recently went through this ancient mail opening yellowed letters of friends I have long since lost touch with. Their letters brought me back to another time. The personal style of handwriting, the choice of stationary, the occasional sticker. Colorful. Personal. Memorable.
Saturday we received two cards in our mailbox. Two cards from the vet who cared for Wiggum as he died in their office. The only two cards I received in response to our family's loss. Oh I got tons of comments on my facebook. I know hearts were in the right place, however those two cards are on my mantel, a tangible memory of my cat. A physical display of someone who cared enough to send a card. I know it is not a personal slight. I realize that people now rely on their keyboard and mouse to communicate with loved ones and friends. But I have to say, I truly appreciated the personal gesture and I am vowing to make more of an effort. An effort to send birthday cards, and an occasional letter, through the US Postal Service. I therefor need to update my address book. So if you are so inclined, please email me your address to firstname.lastname@example.org.