Remember When People Used to Send Handwritten Letters Instead of Email?

Yes, you remember, because I remember. I’m Generation X, ok? I remember a lot of stuff.

When I went off to Camp Matoaka in Maine back in 1992, I couldn’t wait* to receive letters from my mom and most of all, my grandmother, who had the most splendid handwriting ever known to man. The fact that she had beautiful handwriting was actually very impressive, since she was born left-handed. But alas, in a Catholic country in the 1900s, if you were born left-handed that meant you were marked by the devil.

So a nun would strap her left wrist to her desk with a rope and force her to write with her right hand. My grandmother did like she was told in school; but at home, she kept doing things with her left hand. She was one of the very few people I know that were perfectly ambidextrous.

Like David Ortiz, who is famous for switching batting stances.

But enough of that. I’m frankly quite tired of email. You can’t tell tone, emotion, nothing. And don’t get me started on all the misunderstandings that can inadvertently occur in an email because you are deprived of the person’s prosody.

There is a certain magic, longing, nostalgia, excitement, romance, angst, fervor, mystery in waiting for a handwritten letter. Plus, you can tell how the person is feeling from the slant in their handwriting.Even more, since you’re waiting, there’s no instant gratification from getting a response to an email right away. So writing letters and waiting for a response cultivates self-discipline.

Therefore, tonight, I’m going to order personalized stationery and stop sending emails. From now on, it’s back to the 80s: phone calls or letters.

Oh, and by the way, by phone calls, I mean landlines. No cell phones. I don’t like people reaching me in the middle of the day with some “emergency.” Since when is not being able to find a writing utensil in your purse an emergency? I can’t go to Walgreens for you right now; I’m in the middle of serving coffee to Bill Nye.

Also, remember when no one had cell phones and if you had an appointment, you had to BE THERE AND BE PUNCTUAL, because you couldn’t come up with a flimsy excuse like:

“I’m stuck in traffic” [translation: I haven’t woken up yet. And why do I hear your dog barking in the background? Oh, because you haven’t woken up yet. Got it.],

“I’m running late” [translation: I know I have a cell phone, so I can make the person wait for me.],

and “A pigeon just pooped on my head, and I have to go back home and shower.” [translation: I’m running horrendously late, and there is no way I’m going to get there on time.]

So to sum that baby up, use of landlines cultivate responsibility.

From now on, it’s all personalized stationery with confetti stuffed in the envelope, for that element of je ne sais quois magical 80s Rainbow Brite/Care Bears elegance.

Finally, I am formally reinstating the use of silver trays to deliver letters. Remember when letters were brought in by butlers on silver trays right to your parlor? I don’t. I’m Generation X, not Generation Edith Wharton. But I do want an English butler, preferably Anthony Hopkins, to take the letters from the postman and deliver them to me on a silver tray, while wearing white gloves.

I am formally calling for a revolution. Occupy Gmail. Occupy Yahoo. Occupy Hotmail. We are the 99%.

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