The Plume and Paper

What we now call “snail mail” is usually full of bills and things that are all business related.  Most of the mail I received yesterday had financial information that was all wonderful, so it was a good day.  There was also a hand written letter, which stopped me in my tracks.

I have always thought there was a great deal more significance to receiving something hand written  in the mail.  I relish a formal invitation sent in the  mail far more than an Evite.  I understand sometimes electronic versions are more appropriate for certain occasions, cost-effective and better for the environment.  None the less, there are certain things I remain old-fashioned about.  I will always have appreciation for hand written thank you notes and invitations chosen with care, printed or letter pressed on fine paper.  My friend, Erin, has a consistent and beautiful way she makes all of her invitations, and I wish she would have more parties just so I could get more of them.

Hand written letters can be powerful.  They also can be very frustrating.  If someone sends you one full of thoughts and feelings, especially during times of dispute, they land like a big boulder.  I felt a little dumped on.  There is no instant “reply” button.  Perhaps that is what is good about them?  When receiving a recent hand written letter, it allowed me time to stop and think.  I took time to attempt to understand what bothered me and what didn’t, which battles I was willing to choose, and how the old fashioned style of this letter also reiterated the old-fashioned thinking of the person who sent it, which may be key in the disagreement of late.  Food for thought. We all have things we approach in an old school kind of way.

I  try to find balance on the subject.  I like sending paper birthday cards.  I received a Mother’s Day card from a girlfriend this year that reminded me how powerful this kind of mail is.  Another card from another friend, just because, illustrated this for me even deeper.  I love fine paper…I can’t afford it.  I do grab up notes and cards on clearance tables and sidewalk sales.  I recently bought $75 worth of invites and stock great for thank you’s, for $6.    I will always send formal invites regarding weddings and showers.  I have gone electronic with birthday parties, but really like a site called Smilebox, which allows you to make e-cards, invites and scrapbooks with your own photos and music.  I find this an attractive alternative as it can add such a personal touch.

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1 Comment

  1. Kevin said,

    July 27, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Every time I go to Farmers Market, I look for the Postcards they display around middle bar and I make sure to send it to one of two people; my favorite aunt or her daughter. I love postcards. People hardly ever send them anymore, they have just enough room that you have to compress your ideas, and it’s almost like a tweet. Ask Shannon about the postcards I send her, she gets googly-eyed every time she gets to mention them.


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