A Few Cents Well Spent: The Worth of Writing Letters

Sure email is free...or is it? You're paying for the phone or the wireless computer. But what about letters? Postcards? I know a few of you out there might be scratching your head at these strange words, but do bear with me. Here at Shoestring News we believe it's okay to pine for that Gucci bag you can't afford, to devote whole posts to clothes and throw pillows and other gew-gaws, and indulge and not judge that which is "superficial" in you --in short to let yourself off the hook for dreaming big and wanting, wanting, wanting! But Shoestring Sally also knows all too well the pain so many of us feel as "Have-nots" forever being inundated by what our culture deems as "Must-Haves" and I urge you, Dearest Shoestringers, to join me on my journey to that land of luxury that is to be found in the simple, the inexpensive, the SUBSTANTIAL. Like, writing letters...a few cents for the stamp, some paper, an envelope...and a heart.

I have other thoughts on the subject of letters and would like to share with you this little "note" I penned back in February 2011 & posted on Facebook:

To Know the Cross of Her T, the Dot of His I

I miss writing letters. I've noticed people get a huge kick out of receiving letters nowadays because it's so rare...but whenever I ask a friend (even someone I email back & forth with all the time--long emails even) to verify a mailing address so I can write them a letter, they panic under the weight of some anticipated onus to write me back. It makes me sad. I enjoy sending out mail, making cards, etc. People don't have to write me back! Wow, that last sentence either sounds lonely & desperate or self-involved & pompous.

I had to make this "status" a "note" because per usual Facebook deemed the above paragraph too damn long. This is why we need paper and pens and envelopes and stamps. I don't want to be remembered for my silly status updates or emails...though I have written some pretty damn good emails in my time if I do say so myself. But really, can you imagine a book called The Sons of Maxwell Perkins: Emails of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Their Editor? It used to be those nearest and dearest to you knew your handwriting like the color of your eye or the curve of your smile. But could you pick out my "Q" in a lineup?

It's funny...wow is this becoming a rant?! I think between email, Facebook, blogs and such, I communicate with scores of people on a regular basis and my thoughts bounce out into the world's playing field like so many earnest red dodge balls. But it hasn't made it any easier for me to reach out to people in the real world--indeed it's made it worse I think sometimes.

I like letters for the same reason I will never own a Kindle: I need to hold the wood pulp in my hand, I need the weight of words upon the page. Books and letters are always in danger of being burned away to ash in this cruel world, but 'tis a more valiant way to go out than to be deleted and sent spinning off into a cyber-optic God Knows Where.

Hmm. One day I may delete this post. 
So much of my life has been "banished from my site".

I have sent to my friends my most naked truths within the envelope's quiet hold. Often, as perhaps every human has, I have lied about and denied my feelings in pointed type thrown online and
 calculated words rolled off my lips...

yet I never penned a love letter to someone I didn't truly love, 
and I loved passionately.

Keyboards hide our secrets, ink spills them.


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