Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hey, Mr. Postman...

So…the US Postal Service is thinking of going to a 5-day-a-week mail delivery. This makes me sad. I am actually old enough to remember days when there were two mail deliveries a day…around Christmas at least, if not every day. And I think of all those Victorian novels where someone writes a note in the morning to invite someone for tea that afternoon…and actually gets a reply before teatime. And stories set in a by-gone rural America where the postman was a vital connection to family and friends far away.

But then I started thinking about it. And not only am I myself contributing to the P.O. shortfall, I’m beginning to think that perhaps this shortened delivery days idea isn’t so bad.

Getting the mail used to be the high point of my day. You never knew what might be there. But now, not so much. I used to write to, and get letters from, my mom, my dad, aunts, cousins, friends. But who writes letters anymore? It’s rare that I get an actual personal letter in the mail. It’s all advertising and bills. Hardly fun. Everyone relies on email. I used to look forward with great anticipation to letters from my Mom – she and I delighted in finding pretty note cards to send to each other. Even though she and I mostly just nattered on about inconsequential things, it was a real connection. But she’s gone now. And my dad moved from Indiana to Baltimore 20 years ago, so it’s been a long time since I wrote him a letter. My brother’s local, too, and I really miss getting letters from him…he’s a great letter writer. He's so funny. Once you figure out his squinchy handwriting, that is…the man should have been a doctor!

And I’ve tried joining groups that try to set up penpals but I think it’s harder when you’re an adult. The correspondences tend peter out pretty quickly.

And, since I write here, I have less to write about in a letter…since generally the people I would write to already read this. (Hi, ML!) And Rachel hates walking to the college P.O. unless there's a package (and besides, she reads the blog) so letters to her would sit for weeks before she picked them up...and then be boring.

But still…I am reluctant to give up on snail mail. There’s nothing like pulling a letter from a friend out of the mail box. In fact, I think I’ll go write a letter right now.

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