For the Baltimore Sun Mobbies awards this year, the theme is the ’90s. Although I’m still a little in shock that the grunge decade ended almost over 15 years ago, The Sun prompted us to reflect on what we miss the most from those 10 years. For me, food or toys are not what I remember most about that time, but rather how I communicated with friends. It is so easy to just send a text or email now that we tend to lose sight of what truly bonds us together. I can keep up with what is going on with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media, but those mediums don’t really allow for full relationship building. Sometimes, you want to share more than what you had for lunch or the concert you attended last night. Sometimes, you long for sharing your deep thoughts, your feelings, and what you need. Therefore, what I would like to bring back are written notes.
The written word is a thing of beauty. There is something permanent and special when you hold a note or a letter in your hand. The penmanship of the author can even convey feelings that typeface is unable to match. Letters and notes can transport us to another place or time, or just make us feel that much closer to each other, even when miles may separate us. These days we see the red flag of unread emails and it can make us anxious and eager to get to “Inbox Zero.” But remember the feeling when you would walk to the mailbox and wonder what special person may be sending you a communication? Like buried treasure among the advertisements and bills would be that handwritten name and address on the envelope that would bring the smile to your face.
How much time did we all spend in study hall, writing up all of our angst, hopes, dreams, gossip, and other important things? Taking extra care to fold the paper into special shapes, we would rush in-between classes to make sure we had time to deliver the “Top Secret” communication into the vent of your best friend’s locker. You were always nervous that the person you had a crush on and just wrote 5 paragraphs about would find the note and you would be embarrassed. But we still took the time to write the note as if we were compelled by an unknown force. We had to get all of those feelings out of us or we might explode.
My favorite notes of the 90s were from my boyfriend of 5 years. We did the long distance thing in college and the letters he would send were absolutely beautiful. He always was thoughtful and shared his soul in them. I truly credit our letter writing for keeping us together as long as we lasted. I also think they are the reason that we are still close friends. We know each other better than anyone else. We grew up together and kept each other sane through a lot of rough times. Our letters were the cement of our bond. In those letters we could write things we could barely speak out loud to anyone. We both cherished the vulnerability and intimacy of sharing everything with each other on paper.
Remember the hope, the excitement, and the joy of receiving a letter. Remember reading the note and hearing the voice of the author ring in your head as you read. Remember the blush that rushed to your face when you would read a sexy detail written on the paper from your lover. Remember the anticipation of waiting to hear back from that special person you sent a note to. Embrace all of those things and let’s bring back the art of writing notes as proper communication. Let’s rekindle the spark that brought all of us together in the first place. Who will you write to today? I know my envelope is now addressed and ready to send post haste.
P.S. Voting for The Mobbies begins Monday November 3 and I’m nominated! Please vote for me for Best Personal Blog!