I’ve always been told to hand write a thank you letter (note being the more proper term) every time my aunt, uncle, and little cousin from California send me a card and money (capped off at $20 now) on my birthday. I’ve done this ever since I was at least six (when I was aware of my existence for the first time). It’s a nice gesture but I wish my old-fashioned relatives would get with the times and just have me send a Facebook message or text them my thank you. They aren’t even on Facebook and I haven’t seen them since the 2009 family reunion, which felt so cold. To waste a whole sheet of paper for just two or three short sentences of my appreciation is ridiculous. To mail it across the country with a postage stamp even more. And what do my uber rich relatives do with all the notes I send them? Do they save them or crinkle them up after their use is over? Do they have a drawer dedicated to all of my thank you notes dating all the way back to the time I was in grade school? Writing one seems so childish now, especially when my dad implores me to do so. I’m 24 but I feel like 8 when I write it, having to put down the same cheesy sounding sentences, capped off by a “Love, Me” closing.
Of course, handwriting something makes it more personal and thoughtful. I’m not talking through a computer when I hand write, I am trying to actually talk with a person. Writing those notes to my distant relatives is like keeping in check and telling that I still think about them and really wish I could see them again someday. They do know that I appreciate everything they give me, but seeing a physical message has more value and meaning. The power of the pen/pencil touching the paper and my thoughts being transferred down has a meditative effect on me. I actually feel mentally stronger afterward, if that’s even possible.
I feel like I do need to practice my penmanship more often, to get away from typing on the computer. The conveniences of having a keyboard and being able to write really fast have spoiled me to the point where I don’t even want to pick up a writing utensil anymore. I used to write in a physical journal before my days of blogging, writing down my daily activities and any important events such as holidays and birthdays. Now, I haven’t written in it since the Seahawks/Broncos debacle of a Super Bowl, enjoying the pleasures of fast paced blogging and being able to get my thoughts out in quicker fashion (and with more structure and reason – having all of you being able to read it!).
My extended family is stuck in the stone age and I’m okay with that. At least they can send a text message now. I guess they’re afraid of Facebook and social media altogether, which is actually a good thing, since it does nothing to make you feel less lonely. And you basically sell your soul to the Internet by posting things.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Handwritten.”