Monday, September 18, 2006

Thank You - No, Really!

I was working on a huge task today - thank you notes. That's right, those polite missives Miss Manners adores. The kind printed on cardstock, requiring you to write on them by hand, address them, stick on a stamp and mail them. In a real mailbox. Actual letters have become so passé that my grown son had to ask me how to mail a letter at his apartment complex. Now, he's a smart kid, but mail is something he and his generation simply see no need for.

For those of us over say, 25, mail used to have a certain mystery. You never knew what would show up in the mailbox. Or from whom. Ever receive a love letter in the mail? The care, the thought that went into crafting the letter, addressing it and mailing. And the waiting! Waiting is not necessarily a bad thing (unless you are a writer, of course). The anticipation that follows when someone calls to say, "I sent you something" is exquisite. I'm afraid my children will have little opportunity to experience this pleasure that is almost pain in their lifetimes.

Let's face it, e-mail is fast, easy-to-use and imminently accessible. But it's not romantic at all. E-mail has all the glamour and mystery of a tater tot. Want to woo someone? Write them a letter - by hand. Show you care by spending 39 cents on a USPS stamp. Get the mooshy ones with cooing doves and hearts on them. Guys, trust me on this, letters are dead-on sexy, even if your spelling and handwriting are horrible (like my husband's).

So, I crab about writing thank you notes and Christmas cards, but I keep doing them. I know they matter. Even if they don't buy me anything tangible, they are stamp-bearing ambassadors of good will. That's why Miss Manners wants us to keep writing them. It's why I will go finish mine now. Does anyone else still send actual mail?



At 10:38 AM , Blogger Sonja said...

I still write thank-you notes, but I admit to crabbing about them sometimes.

Most of the time, though, if I'm actually taking the time to WRITE a thank-you note, whoever it is I'm thanking deserves MUCH more thanks than a hand-written note in the mail. So I try not to crab too much.

At 2:20 PM , Blogger Caren said...

Okay, now I am hand writing invitations to a New Years Ever party and it's just as excruciating! I empathize with the e-mail generation. And yet, how cool is it to get a party invitation in the mail?


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