You walk home to find a little nondescript looking paper on your table. Yet there’s a hint of colour, a stamp at the top corner. Something that brings a smile to your face as you lift is up wondering what words will fall out and dance around you. You pause before tearing the envelope open, to think of the different possibilities of what the letter might contain. Of one thing you can be sure of – it is highly improbably that it is a letter inviting you to Hogwarts.
When I was a young kid, fountain-ponytail et al., I would send myself letters. Just for the simple joy of seeing a date stamped and the happiness of receiving something.
Over the years, email, IM, facebook wall-ing Tweeting, WhatsApp-ing and Tango-ing sprung up. Now, don’t get me wrong; I use most of these and they truly are wonderful. But in this digital age, there still exists the joy of letters. This is not a nostalgic love; in fact I’ve never really sent/received many letters besides the oddball lot of ‘Season’ Greeting’s’ with photos of snow that I’ve only dreamed of. These letters are almost always ‘late’. As in, what with instant delivery of messages, why should one even opt for the snail mail? I cannot fathom my reasons for this either. It just is. Something that makes me happy. Perhaps it’s the joy of seeing the handwritten notes scripted (or scrawled, either version that you pick). Or perhaps it’s a sense of time-lag; where I have already communicated with my friend about the different events and then you receive a letter from stories of some days ago. Or it could be the fact that it is a physical document – kind of like the e-book vs. physical book debates (which will be a story for a another rainy day, amigos). Am I amazed by how the postal system still functions without missing a beat? Or is it the fact that I can pseudo-psychoanalyze a handwriting? Maybe it’s to see a colourful stamp. Or, being the sucker for nostalgia that I am, this is something I can store in an ‘actual box’. Or perhaps to exercise the grammar/spelling Nazi in me, looking for struck out letters and words? It could very well be an extension of literary love.
In short, I do not know why I enjoy, to use the term, ‘real letters’. The others are not letters. They never will be; they have their own names. (In essence, this is like a letter to the world. As an afterthought, I will edit it so. But here it is, being typed on a word processor!) But it’s a wonderful feeling – receiving letters.
With love and all happies,