Let’s be penpals?

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April 5, 2013 by kmwelden

Last week I told you all about how I went to Papyrus and had a really nice time sending cards to people. Since then, I have sent cards to my grandma, my friend Katherine, my boyfriend, my mom, etc. To be fair, though, I didn’t just wake up one morning and say “HEY. I think I should go buy a small fortune in greeting cards and send them to everyone I care about!” No one really thinks about sending letters anymore, and what really inspired me to start my own letter-writing campaign is my roommate, Kara. 

Kara’s boyfriend has been at boot camp for the Marines for months, but he is finally graduating TODAY (in fact, they are on the way back now, and you would be nuts if you think there isn’t a sign welcoming home on our front door. I’ll take any excuse to use Sharpies).


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Through these months, the only way they’ve been able to communicate is via letter. For me, this would just be unacceptable. Andrew starts getting triple and quadruple texted if he is not responding at a reasonable (1-4 minute response time) pace. This would be the equivalent of us sending SMOKE SIGNALS to one another. Watching Kara and Eric do it, though, has been really inspiring. And really lovely. I see how excited she gets waiting for the mailman to come down the street… and I also see her cuss him out when he doesn’t come at the correct time or he comes without letters from Eric (let’s be honest, Charleston Postal Service people: I love you and I really admire the Postal Service as an American institution, but can we get some regulation about when you’re going to show up at our house? You have been driving my roommate crazy). I have seen her tear up at letters from her far away boyfriend, and it’s like they have been channeling some 1950’s love story for nine weeks. I’ve never seen anything more romantic, minus old people holding hands. Sorry, Kara… maybe when you’re 85.

Case in point.

Case in point.

Because Kara’s been writing so many letters to Eric, she also started writing letters to other people, including her grandma. The first letter she sent her grandma made the nice woman cry, so naturally, I was DYING to send my sweet Grandma Mona in Iowa one. Let’s be clear, because I know that could go either way: I didn’t want to do this to make my grandma cry. I wanted to do it to make her happy (TEARS of JOY from a letter from her favorite granddaughter, perhaps?). I’m not a total monster.

My grandma was so happy to hear from me via snail mail, even though we do communicate via e-mail and iMessage quite a bit (the woman has an iPhone, an iPad, and a Mac computer, so she’s about a million times more technologically equipped than me). My grandma is an amazing woman, but she’s not Superwoman, and I know she won’t be around forever. Handwritten notes from her are something I can always have; they’re something I can show my children when I explain to them what an amazing great-Grandma they have (I also feel that it’s relevant to include here that I cannot bring myself to delete any email Grandma Mona has sent me -since circa 2008-, because I would feel horrible deleting the words of someone I love who I know won’t be around forever. Now that I’m writing that here, that sounds like a really weird thing to do. But alas). 

My return card. Look how cool her garden is. Serious #granddaughterbrag

The return card. Look how cool her garden is. Serious #granddaughterbrag

Anyway, I’m a believer in the letter writing now. I may even channel 500 Days of Summer and begin a career as a greeting card writer… my immeasurably syrupy, saccharine sentiments (really sorry about the alliteration there) would be an ASSET to Hallmark. Regardless, I think I’ll be keeping the greeting card companies in business for years to come (and probably Kara, too). This next week I’m sending out graduation announcements via snail mail, so I might be singing a different tune after addressing 30+ envelopes, but I doubt it. If anyone would like to send me mail, that would be perfect, because really, I’ve found that there’s not one thing better than coming home to handwritten mail from wonderful people. Oh and also: Welcome home, Eric! 

Love,

Kaitlyn

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