I remember having a few different pen pals as a child and teen. A single red and blue striped corner sticking out of a pile of mail meant word from my friend Nami in Japan. I filled letters to her full of teen angst and other important details of my life, which mainly consisted of late night trips to Carrow’s to kill time and torture waitresses with split orders and incessant coffee refills while we waited to grow up.
I found it comforting that half way around the world Nami was doing the exact same thing in sweet shops and noodle joints. I eagerly anticipated her letters, even though, or perhaps because, her access to bullet trains and international travel had me entirely convinced that teen life was better in Japan. And her letters gave me a taste.
A few years earlier, the spring after my 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. had been filled with many shorter trips to the mailbox, anticipating a far less exotic, but much more exciting postmark: New Jersey. And one day it arrived.
Thus commenced a very short lived romantic exchange with a handsome boy I’d met at the Washington Monument. It could have been the stuff of great romance, but we were 13 and quickly bored one another with our tales of homework and groundings and after school sports.
But oh those trips to the mailbox…
Sadly my love affairs on the printed page end there, in the 8th grade. And by college, it was all email. This is mostly a big bummer because someday when I’m dead, my children will have to sift through all 15,278 emails in my inbox in the hopes of finding just one takeyourbreatheaway love
OR, and this is where you all come in, they could find neat stacks of interesting letters from fascinating and diverse folks from around the world.
Yes please. I choose that.
So in the interest of fostering the fantastic community who joins me here daily (that’s you!) and furthering real life relationships and interaction among online creatives, not to mention doing my unborn children a big sentimental favor, I’m pleased to announce handwritten: a penpal project for 2012.
It’s a simple idea and I’m not reinventing the wheel. Or doing it by myself.
I’m just hoping to connect some RAD ladies (and gents) in real life. To bring back the excitement of heading to the mailbox. And the intoxicating smell of ink on paper.
Oh! And let’s be honest- to justify my love for fancy stationery and old stamps.
You can check out ALL the details right here, and if you’re interested in participating please leave a comment below by February 5th, with your name, city, and if you’d prefer one or two pen pals.
So pick out your stationery, pick up your pens, and let’s get this penpal party started!