Remember snail mail? Do you recognize this stationary? I still love to send real mail by USPS. I still write postcards home when I travel. It has become ridiculously expensive too by the time you buy the postcard and the stamp. It does not pencil out if you compare to email.
I remember my first trip overseas. I went with Teen Missions to Catrine in Ayrshire, Scotland. I purchased so many Aerogrammes to write to the people who supported my mission, to friends and family and to anyone I thought might write back. My teammates were all jealous of how many letters I got at mail call. But I worked hard to get them!
First there is the challenge of writing on the very thin Aerogramme paper. You cannot use a felt tip as it bleeds, and you have to leave room for the flaps. Then fold it carefully and lick the glue just so. You want it to stick but not to soak the paper and possibly run the ink.
I have been reminiscing because I bought the movie Brooklyn on Google Play and rewatched it. The scene where Eilis puts all of Tony’s air mail envelopes containing his love letters in the drawer unopened–gasp!
There is something lost when we rely entirely on email and we no longer handwrite letters. So much more thought went into letters because of the labor involved. Call me a romantic but I believe a relationship unfold as letters travel back and forth.
Of course letters also create misunderstandings. Anyone who has lived at camp for the summer, or overseas for an extended period can tell you a story about the anguish a letter created until the next one arrived to explain what was really meant. I still can feel the devastation when I learned from a letter that my mom had given my kitten away while I was at camp.
The upsides outweigh the downsides. Afterall, who is going to unpack a box of their grandmother’s emails after she dies. Letters give an insight to people we love in a way that no other medium equals.
Write a letter to someone you love today!