Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A penpal

Awhile back I was perusing the etsy forums and ran across the post "Did you have a penpal?"
I entered into the forum and saw that like myself, many of the peple there had at one time(usually jr high/high school,) had a penpal. One of the sellers asked if we would like to have penpals and she would arrange it.
I thought about it and said yes and answered the questionaire and was paired up.

I got my first letter yesterday! My new penpal is Frozenyoga!

As it turns out we have quite a bit in common, plus she lives about 30 minutes away!

I am really excited about this. I really feel the art of writing letters is dead. With technology and email and cell phones, it is so easy to keep in touch and writing an actual snail mail letter has gone the way of the Dodo. sad really.
My grandmother knew how to write a letter. She would write about her day, or doing laundry, or shoveling the driveway, but she just had a way to make it sound like she had become the first woman on Mars, or won the Indianapolis 500.
I am not sure I have inherited that skill. It has been so long that I actually wrote a paper and pen letter, i dont know if I even know how to do it anymore!

I had 2 penpals in 9th grade. We signed up for them in french class.
The first one was Judith from the Netherlands. She spoke and wrote in English. But she used the metric system, so I had no idea who tall she was (in metres) and how much a "stone" was. she weighed 10 stone(which I now know is 140 pounds. Thank you BBC and "You Are What You Eat!") Back then we didnt have the new-fangled internets to "google" this information.
We wrote back and forth for about a year.

The other was Jean-Luc from Martinique. Apparently my french was too terrible for him to communicate with me for long. I thought it was kind of silly that for someone in beginners french they would pair up with a "french only" speaker. He refused to write in english. He made it a bit difficult. So we wound up sending postcards occasionally with single phrases like "Salut!" or "Bonjour!"

So my days as a penpal are neither long nor illustrious.

I actually just recently read a book called "Dear Exile. The true story of two friends separated(for a year) by an ocean"by Kate Montgomery and hilary Liftin. In it they are best friends/college roommates separated for a year. One is living the single life in manhattan and the other living in kenya with her new husband in the peace corps. It is their letters back and forth to each other. I didnt especially think the book was great, it was just OK for me. BUT the letters were witty and really well written. (Which makes me suspect there was some heavy handed editing to make them more book-worthy. But i may be wrong, its been known to happen.)
So because of this book I now have it in my head that all my letters need to be funny and intellegent and full of similes and metaphors and full of literary brilliance.

So frozenyoga if I call you "my dearest yoga" or write you little poems, please dont take it personally I am just trying to get our penpal letters published.
Hopefully I can be a better penpal in my 30's than I was in my teens!
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