I have been an absolutely awful correspondent lately. My cousin who is eight years old (or maybe nine or ten) sent me a letter in October, and I haven’t yet responded. This morning, I sent a letter to my sister that was in response to something she sent me while she was on vacation over a year and a half ago. I had started to respond while I was on vacation, a few weeks later, but I only got a few pages into it before the vacation became overwhelming. I forgot about the letter in my laptop bag for over a year.
Yet, I try to turn around emails in less than a day. What does that say?
Snailmail has turned into a form of communication relegated to bills and advertisements, credit card offers and political fliers. Yet there is still some small part of me that looks forward to getting the mail every day. Maybe it’s because last summer I spent far too much money on ebay. Or maybe it’s the magazines I still receive (despite occasionally reading the more interesting articles online before they reach my house). Whatever the reasons, it seems that almost every writer has over-romanticized the physical and tangible letter. There is a mystery and solidity to the sport of tree-killing I suppose, but for me it’s nowhere near the thrill and rush of a good email.
Well, I’m here to romanticize digital letter writing. Email is beautiful! Fixed width fonts and headers and subject linesÃ¯Â¿Â½ these are some of my favorite things.