06 March 2009

Special Delivery

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
~William Wordsworth~

I walked to my mailbox with the usual trepidation. The ONLY reason I go there is when I am starting to worry that the postman will issue me a citation for "full-upedness." What was my hurry, after all? Unlike the Fifth Dimension's hit song, I do not love Bill, I NEVER will, and when I look at him, I DO NOT see the passion eyes of May, I see PAY! When I arrived at the mailbox, Bill was there, as usual, but today was different. There was something else in the mailbox, something very special, something that I had not seen in a very, very long time. It was a letter with a beautifully handwritten address. I examined it very carefully, admiring the way my name was written in elegant cursive writing. Finally, I slid my finger between the flap and the envelope and tore into my "special delivery." I inspected the paper up and down, front and back. The stationary was cheerful with a very happy rainbow and floral design. At the top of each page was written, "May you find the special moments in each day." May you indeed!

As I began to read, I stopped to absorb the handwriting; the beautiful cursive letters that have become so "Greek" in today's world of modern technology. I began to read my special letter, penned with so much warmth and sincerity. As I neared the bottom of each page, a lump formed in my throat. I did not want it to come to an end. I was reminded of the times as a little girl when a letter would arrive from my grandmother. It was as exciting as opening packages on Christmas morning. She always had scented stationary and the fanciest writing you have ever seen, by little girl standards, at least. I would run to my Father's office to quickly write a reply. It was just as much fun.

It was the words at the end of my special delivery that made the most impact. "I know e-mail is faster, but being a traditionalist, I believe a handwritten letter is more personal. I am trying to keep myself true to my beliefs and not succumb to the technology that eliminates human touch." How profound is that? Do you remember the last time you received a handwritten letter? I picked my brain trying to remember, to no avail. Thank you dear Annie for your written words. You have humbled me and motivated me to send out a few handwritten letters of my own. Prior to your letter, I could not be bothered to take the time. I feel ashamed. Unlike you, I have allowed modern technology to impede on my sense of goodness.

Ironically, I am the one who screams the loudest when I receive those cards at Christmas which are stamped (usually in gold letters) with each family members name. Address label, as well as return address label, are typed and computer generated onto self-adhesive labels. And of course the message inside sure wasn't thought up by you or even Santa Claus for that matter. Not so much as a "Hi, how are you?," "Have a great year!," or a "Kiss my bum!" written ANYWHERE!! Every now and again, I might get a "Merry X-mas." What the hell is that?!! Are you too lazy to write out the word "Christ?" Remember Him? The one the "holiday" is all about? Grrrrrrr! Newsflash!! It DOES NOT warm the cockles of my heart to know that your computer was thinking of me during the Holidays!!!

I hope this message (I can't bring myself to type out the word blog for fear of the hypocrisy behind this whole message) will inspire you to sit down and write someone a handwritten letter. Wouldn't it be exciting to bring back the days of staring out the window in anticipation of the mailman's arrival instead of closing the blinds in his face? Now go do the "write" thing!

Peace Out,
The Paper Whisperer

01 March 2009

If These Walls Could Talk

"To bear defeat with dignity, to accept criticism with poise, to receive honors with humility--these are marks of maturity and graciousness."
~William Arthur Ward~

Oh yeah, THEY CAN and THEY DO! If you haven't jumped on the Facebook bandwagon yet, what on earth are you waiting for? Forget the moon! This, my friends, is the giant leap for all mankind! *Rolling eyes*

Not so very long ago, I was a self-appointed "rebel without a facebook cause." I didn't "get it," nor did I want to! And since I have never had the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality, I remained steadfast to my conviction that Facebook was silly and certainly not for me. Nosiree Bob! I was far more mature and sophisticated! *Yep...eyes still a'rollin'!*

After many pleas from friends, family and countrymen, I finally created a MySpace. I put all my love into the "designing" of my new "home away from home." I was so proud of it and couldn't hardly wait for visitors. There was just one problem (okay, a few); there was no one to "invade" my space. What good is my space without space invaders?! Where did everyone go? You know! All of the sudden MySpace was "like sooo last year!" I would post comments on friends spaces, only to have them answer (weeks later) with a comment back that went something like this. "Hey girl (ugh)! God, I never check my MySpace! Get a Facebook so we can chat it up!" But, but, I DON'T WANT A FACEBOOK! I want MySpace! I want people to enjoy visiting me. I have beautiful artwork, awesome music that I change frequently and all my friends in "top 10" order!

Day after day I fought the transition. I continued setting the mood with my music, dangling carrots in the form of mood status updates (e.g. "Robin is lonely") and ALWAYS leaving the light on! I felt like Linus sitting in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin. *Big sigh* Blow out the candles, turn off the music, and pull the plug on the "Vacancy" sign. Clearly if you build it, they will not always come. *Note to self: "gas up"the computer and do Mapquest to Facebook*

Better late than never, I (never) say. "Pull into" Facebook expecting to find a wild party going on...HUGE disappointment! I sat staring at my graffiti-less wall and my blue silhouette against the white background (a "newbie," respectfully). I got up and made a pot of coffee because I planned on burning the midnight oil designing yet another "den of iniquity" for my social pleasure.

First things first, let's get rid of that silly silhouette (try saying that 3 times straight!) and post a real photo. There we go! One sip of coffee and I'm done with my "in your face-book!" There are no pretty backgrounds that accentuate your character. There are no music players that add background music to all life's ups and downs. Just a plain old page that separates me from NO ONE!! How will my "peeps" know how much I love Lucy or Lance Armstrong? How will anyone know how much I care about the homeless, the hungry and hot tamales? No one will ever know whether or not I "accepted the rose" or "lost that lovin' feeling." Eeeeegads!

Ho-hum, let's start "collecting" friends, at least. That's what you do on Facebook, you collect friends. Never mind if you like them or not, just add them to the collection. They are objects now; little icon faces that tell the world, "You've got a friend!" *James Taylor strumming the guitar* Let's see, I've collected about140 now and I actually know about 10 of them. They all seem genuinely sweet, however. Most of them are extremely courteous in that they let us know where they are and what they are doing at every flipping minute of the day! My day seems rather mundane compared to Dick, who is "going to cut the grass" or Jane who is "wishing she had a Facebook Friend with benefits and a vodka martini." "Note to Jane: Now, you will! Merry Christmas from your Facebook friend!*

All joking aside (but just for a minute) Facebook has been tons of fun. Had it not been for Facebook I would not have reconnected with old friends and been "stalked" by new ones. (Told ya it would only be a minute) I would not have the joy of "witnessing" old high school friends come together once again after many, many (okay, not so many) years. I think we can all agree that the "high school years" were often times painful for so many of us. It is refreshing to see everyone loving everyone, devoid of the hurtful cliques from younger days. No one seems to care that Dick has the personality of a throw pillow; we continue to comment on his stamp collecting photos just to show the love. We ALL care that Jane is an ignorant slut, but we overlook her imperfections because that's what friends are for.

I would trade my high school years for $20.00, but I would not take a million for the old friends that have waltzed back into my life as parents, grandparents, survivors and/or lovers of life. Each friend is a blessing and another brick in my wall. The lesson is not lost if the wisdom is put to use.

Peace out,
The Paper Whisperer