image credit: Tiffany & Co.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I am a firm believer in "thank-you" notes...handwritten...on nice stationary...and I enjoy sending them. I try to be prompt and quite honestly, was much more timely before the Toddler arrived 2 years ago. While they may not be written the same day or week...I will eventually put pen on a wonderful piece of paper expressing gratitude for whatever the reason may be. With this said...I also enjoy receiving them...I suppose it's my southern upbringing but I think it's only appropriate. My father-in-law writes the best "thank-you" notes ever...so well thought out...so heartfelt...and his penmanship is bar none. For most of our 11 years of marriage...the Husband has had to translate his father's "thank-you's" and letters for me. Imagine the most elaborate...old world script you've ever seen made by a ball point. They are simply stunning and the words on the correspondence card are just as special. I contend that his Ivy League ways are at work here but also I contend that letter writing...thank-you's included...are a lost art. In this click and send, internet world which we live...it's refreshing to receive a piece of real correspondence...something tangible...in the sender's handwriting. When I was young (think high school...think 80's) my boyfriend and I wrote a library's worth of letters. Yes, we saw each other every day...went to the same school...talked on the phone for hours...and yet still wrote letters to each other and mailed them. There were weeks when I got a letter from him in the mail every day. I cherished those letters...partly for their sentiment but mostly for the tangibleness of them. There is nothing more profound than "getting it in writing". You can't refute it...can't change it...unless of course you re-write it or the sentiment changes. With that said...yes, the sentiment did change...we grew apart...grew up...and in college my boyfriend and I went our separate ways. The Husband and I later dated and wrote letters as well as there were times in our courtship that we were in different parts of the world. Again, I would bolt to the mailbox, hoping to find a letter for me...tearing gently at the fine stationary...pouring over the words. Recently my parent's moved and during the move they came across a box of these letters. As I was reading each one as if for the first time again...my sister...who is 11 years younger was amazed...confused..."why would you send letters when you could just call or email or text?" And at that moment...I realized that her generation will never "get" it...they will never understand the excitement of a letter...know the postman's route...the cost of a stamp. As I tried to explain it to her she eventually conceded that it was "neat" to have them and that no one her age ever wrote letters. Sadly, she's right. Phoning, texting, and emailing have become the new norm...yet I still believe in my heart that real "thank-you" notes...letters...are appreciated...admired...and to not send one is, well...in my opinion...formidable. So I say this, get out your pen and paper...write a quick note...write a long note...thank someone for their gift...their time...their friendship...their love. And when you receive that beautiful letter pressed correspondence card in your own post...you'll be thankful for the time that was spent thinking of you...thanking you...appreciating you...loving you!