March 13, 2010

lost arts, and the like

I don't feel like I really know a person until I've seen their handwriting. 

That might sound a little shallow to you. Allow me to explain myself. 
I received a card in the mail just the other day from a new-ish friend. After I contained my joy enough to focus on who had sent said card, because yes, any mail that does not have the "return service requested" mark (that appears on bills and junk mail) fills me with glee, I realized I didn't recognize the handwriting. Thanks to my masters degree, I looked at the return address and thus discovered who the card was from. Context clues. Try to contain your awe at my smarts.

[Now, I have been sitting here for minutes upon minutes trying to think of a way to describe my card-reception emotions in a way that does not make me sound like I'm a character in a Nicholas Sparks novel. Alas - I cannot think of one. I'm as distressed as you are, I assure you. I ask you for your pardon. Just this once.]

It warmed my heart. I mean a literal, actual warmth in the cardiac vicinity kind of situation. It was the grown-up equivalent of a warm fuzzy, if you will. It is no secret that I like words, and I like seeing words just slightly more than I like hearing words. (One might also call "seeing words" "reading," but that's neither here nor there.) I like emails, I like texts, I like blog comments, I like Facebook posts - I like all of it a great deal. But there is nothing I love as much as I love handwritten sentiments. 
Snail mail. A note on post-it. Or scribbled on the back of a J.Crew receipt. 
A quick & breezy thank you note (a lost art in and of itself, but thats another story for another time.) 
And oh, oh oh oh, how I melt at the arrival of a greeting card. 
Personalized stationary? Be still my heart. 

Just like I prefer Cary Grant & the classics over Brad Pitt in theaters any day, I am a traditionalist when it comes to written communication as well. I swooned at Dean Martin dancing in the park, and in a similar fashion, handwritten letters? I'm weak in the knees. Which is perhaps part of the reason why, inexplicably, seeing someone's handwriting makes me feel closer to them. Kind of like how you feel after a 3 am sleepover-style heart-to-heart, or meeting someone's family - its another piece of who they are. Its the kind of detail that, for whatever reason, makes you feel kind of special; a little bit like I've been let in on a secret. And I love secrets. Shocking.

Handwriting is a lost art, if you ask me. [And by coming to my blog, I would posit that you did, sort of, ask me.] While a friend can touch me deeply with an email, while friendships grow with a few casual posts to a Facebook wall, and romance blossoms (whether I approve or not, as it were) over the exchange of a few flirtatious texts --
handwriting is intimate
Thats the only way I can think to describe it. 

3 comments:

Sarah Sobek said...

I love handwritten notes too! I call it getting "real mail." And now that the mortgage people send mail, I really like real mail. The only thing better is artwork from a niece or nephew. :) Love your blog by the way :) I can hear you talking when I am "seeing words."

SarahAnn said...

Thank you for expressing the importance of this. I'm dead serious. I have pen pals. And I don't care if that makes me a dork. And stationary. And the habit of constantly buying $5+ cards just because they're pretty and I know IIII would love to get them in the mail.

We can be pen pals if you want. Or we can just meet for coffee soon since you live five minutes away. Either way.

elena said...

thank you...thank you...thank you!
hand written notes...seriously...nothing better...in a world of texting, yahoo chats etc...it is a lost form...
i make it a point to hand write all my "thank you's" to my clients...it makes a difference!
and...on a side note...i would much rather hear someone's voice on the other side of the phone...or talk to someone face to face...then chit chat over email...
call me old-fashioned...it's ok =)