One of the hardest realization an expat must face when moving away is that life at home will go on without them. Keeping in touch with friends often becomes a high priority in an expat’s life. And given today’s technology (Skype, Google Talk, Facebook, blogs!) there really isn’t a reason as to why you can’t stay in touch with your family and friends spread across the time zones. Technology offers instant gratification. *Ping* ‘You’ve got mail’ is way too slow these days. Instant and text messaging seems to be the communication of choice these days but they leave a lot to be desired, like, personality and emotions. And text speak* does not convey emotions. But handwritten letters do.
Writing a letter takes patience and most readers appreciate the thought and time invested in sending one. Allowing the words to set a scene and tell a story is often more engaging than exchanging multiple texts or standing in front of a monitor talking to a camera. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy video chatting. But I love reading a letter and picturing my friend snuggled on a sofa, cat on lap, writing a letter on stationery she picked out at a local market. I like to think that she is well rested and glowing rather than splotchy and stressed from work as she looks at me from the computer screen. Letters are so old school (vintage chic?) and are the best things to look forward to when the postman comes by. And besides, with USPS is closing so many of its locations they need the work! So write on! And while we are at it, lets save cursive handwriting along with USPS.
During the first week of the new year writing letters seemed to be one of the top resolutions in the blogosphere and that got me to thinking: how many of us would write those letters in cursive writing? Cursive writing seems to be a dying form of art. I had to learn it in the third grade. Happily so. I knew how to sign my name in the first grade. When girls doodled flowers and hearts I practiced the entire alphabet (capital and lower case thank you very much) in cursive writing on extra sheets of loose leaf paper towards the back of my puppy Trapper Keeper. I still practice (well, minus the Trapper Keeper). Wide rule and medium ball point blue pen, please.
With one of my best friends celebrating a birthday soon I decided to kick it old school in two ways: send her a letter in cursive writing. Bam! Two birds, one
My only hope, other than she gets it in time, is that she can read it. But don’t let not knowing cursive stop you from writing that letter. Write one using block letters if that’s what you know. Just think of that smile when your recipient opens the mailbox to see a nice little surprise.
*IMO, LOL, LMAO and other text speak is STR8 lazy and just makes me SMH and belongs no where in a letter.