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Letter-writing makes for good, old-fashioned fun

I’m a sucker for the handwritten letter. For me, there’s nearly nothing better than walking to the mailbox in front of my house, pulling open the little metal door, and finding an envelope with my name scrawled across it.

Or, as in the case of my best friend, Brian, who usually peppers his envelopes to me with some variation of my name — i.e., “Miss Ann Thrope Coolidge” on the image at right.


I love pretty much everything about the experience of receiving, finding, opening, and reading, sometimes re-reading, a good, old-fashioned, hand-written missive from someone I love, hate, like, admire or lust after — which reminds me, Valentine’s is one of the best and worst times to receive cards and letters. Some VDay cards are so lame as to negate the experience and intention in totality; others, whether hastily penned postcards or frilly, decorated cards, or scribbled and crossed-out and re-scribbled love letters, or long-winded pages from long-lost friends — are like water to a desert-island resident. At least for me.


This past week, I took the time to sit down and write, I don’t know, about a dozen letters and cards — sending them off to dear friends, erstwhile lovers, fellow writers, former teachers, high school friends.

Even though it took a lot of time in an otherwise very full week to pick out cards in some cases, make cards in others, write notes and letters by putting pen to ink (though I did type out two letters for certain reasons), address them, add postage and then stack them up to be posted …. it was, actually, a very fun way to spend my time. I loved every minute, but love even more now what comes next … because I haven’t posted the letters yet … no, that all starts tomorrow when I’ll begin posting just one each day — carrying just one each day down to the little mailbox at the end of my drive.

Why the wait? Well, mostly because I’m nuts. I adore those few moments when I walk down the driveway in the morning to the mailbox, slip my correspondence inside the box and flip the little red flag up so the postman will stop chez moi. I love the romance of it all. And so, I drag it out. One letter into the box each day. Until they’re gone. And then, of course, comes the delicious idea that maybe, just maybe some of those folks will write me back at some point — whether soon or later — doesn’t really matter. Just as long as they write. And of course, love letters are among the best kinds of letters to receive and they absolutely must be preserved and tied neatly with a ribbon around them — ready and waiting to be read on that hopefully far-off day when you’ve reached the age that love letters no longer arrive with much regularity at all (though I for one and hoping that day never, ever comes because, natch, I may be a cynic, but I’m a hopelessly romantic cynic).


So, though it took hours and hours to do, I had a lot of fun in the hours I devoted to my correspondence. I love that my hands poured words onto paper, packaged them up, put postage on them and that starting tomorrow, some post office angels will begin working their magic through dozens of stops and boxes and sorting carts and trucks and maybe even airplanes before someone somewhere else — some other postman in some other city, maybe in another country altogether, will stop at someone else’s home or apartment (or jail cell ;0) and drop my letter into the mailbox of someone I love or at least like enough to write to.

Posted on February 9th, 2010Comments RSS Feed
14 Responses to Letter-writing makes for good, old-fashioned fun
  1. MC ,Je pense que vous mettez votre cœur et âme dans vos relations. Bonne chance avec vos lettres! Je suis sûr que vous allez recevoir une lettre de quelqu’un en prison si vous leur écrivit une note d’amour.

  2. well, i don’t currently write anyone in prison. but i used to do a lot of volunteer work with prisoners and of course, many of my best friends are partners in crime.

  3. Vous avez un sens de la formule. Je suis sûr que vos lettres sont inestimables

  4. Please, never start a letter to me with “Dear John”..

  5. I got cut off MC on the previous entry but you are so right that the art of letter writing is gone.Even in the schools the kids don’t know how to write because they use technology all the time from a very early age..I always remember fondly the days of the love letters and getting mail from loved ones….Ah yes the good ole days..

  6. “I always remember fondly the days of the love letters and getting mail from loved ones….”

    Sorry Steve, Ed McMahon was not sending you love letters..

  7. Dear MC,
    thank u so much for ur lovely letter!
    I am surprised that u fell for me so quickly but
    touchdowns , The NFL , and reality chicks all seem to go together
    Happy Valentines Day!!!

  8. Wow MC,
    I did not expect a letter but it was certainly welcomed.
    As you know I have completed rehab and no longer am interested in dating.
    That said , I will always remember you fondly ,
    Tiger, your wild cat!

  9. Yes MC,
    it was cherry chapstick
    Happy V-D!

  10. Well, it seems all my readers are VERY FUNNY these days!!

  11. And to think Perkins I gave you a compliment.I am now taking my Ed McMahon posters off my wall .Some of your readers are funny MC and we know who is not….:-)

  12. I knew you’d come around to seeing things my way.
    “the lady doth protest too much”
    So great to get your letter!
    I put it in a jar then hermetically sealed it
    then put a ribbon around it,you know , just like you do .
    Then I set it on the fireplace mantle next to the urn of my ol’ labador retriever.
    Now when Laura and I sit around the fire I can always look up and think of you!
    Happy Valentines Day,

  13. Dear John,
    Your best buddy on this blog,Steven


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