When I was a young girl and people actually wrote letters (back then, since long distance phone calls cost money, such a thing was encouraged), my Aunt Pinkie would always grade my handwriting. Being a retired teacher, it wasn’t uncommon for her to provide feedback on my sentence structure as well. For a brief period of time I was told that my handwriting was the best among all her nieces (she probably shared that compliment with all of us!).
Now that every person in America has a cell phone with no long distance charges, and since we all like instant gratification, a beautifully written letter is no longer common.
As a young girl I recall selecting my favorite stationary (Strawberry Shortcake that had scratch and sniff labels for the envelopes) and sitting down to write my friends and family. My dear friend Kristi Wester moved away when we were in fifth grade and Aunt Pinkie was in Midland, so I would write them letters. I have unearthed a few response letters recently. It provided great insight into what was important to me back them.
For many years I enjoyed calligraphy as a hobby. I had taken a summer class when I was in high school but took a continuing education class while I was at Bowling Green State University. I haven’t created any calligraphy in years, but think I might give it a go.
My wedding present from my husband was a set of personalized foldover notecards with my new name. I enjoyed using these in the beginning for thank you notes and now for correspondence.
Stationery, notecards, foldovers and the like come in all sorts of beautiful colors and quirky designs. Some of the more crafty note writers make their own cards and stationery with stamps and embellishments. One of these days I will try my hand at this.
I am afraid my handwriting would be graded very poorly by Aunt Pinkie these days, but I do hope that whoever receives a note from me can at least read it! Of late, my correspondence seems to focus on thank you notes and brief messages in a Hallmark card. Maybe I will start writing actual letters to old friends whom I haven’t seen in a bit. I would probably have to do an internet search to find their mailing address.
So many things in life which were the essence of an experience have changed. Authors used to type or write their manuscripts and poems; now they put them in the computer. Does one really put “pen to paper” much any longer?
Do you recall the quarter kept in one’s pocketbook in order to make an emergency call? Now a power cord is more apropos.
The smell of a new book and the first crack of the spine (although my mom, a librarian, taught us never to do such), has been replaced for many readers with an “on” button on an electronic device.
Do you write letters and cards to friends and family? Do you enjoy writing? If you have young children in your life, can they read your cursive writing?
I guess it is a bit like the transition from inkwells and quills to refillable fountain pens and now disposable ballpoint pens. We don’t know any better, so it is still the experience it was meant to be.