I’ve mentioned before, I was divorced several years back. (This post has nothing to do with divorce) When I left, I left with three suitcases and only went back to collect things a few times. Things like dishes, Max’s crib etc. were the items that were on my mind to save. I really didn’t dig into the boxes of random nostalgia that I had collected over the years. My ex then dissapeared as did all my memory boxes.
I do still have many pictures and a few yearbooks that had been stored at my parent’s house. The one thing I’ve lost that I miss most of all is old letters. Pre-email I was a letter writing fool. I had pen pals who I’d met from all over the world. I went to five different schools from the age of eleven to fifteen, and I collected pen pals at each school as well. Back in the early 90’s, phone calls were a quater a minute, sometimes more. Email was not mainstream. When you wanted to keep in touch and were young and broke, you walked your butt to the post office and mailed letters.
Luckily, I have a friend who saves everything. The guy has every personal piece of mail he has ever received. He has boxes of birthday and Christmas cards. He still has my letters. I wrote to many people, but to him the most frequently and for the longest span of time. We wrote to each other from about 1993-2003. There were times the letters were weekly and there were times they were half yearly. And he let me dig through them tonight.
It’s a strange thing to see what you felt was important enough to warrant a stamp and a few pieces of paper. It is strange to revisit letters you have written. Think about it, most of the time, if you see a letter from back when it came from someone to you. How many times will you get the opportunity to see what you wrote to another person from long ago. I was surprised at what I found. I’d say ninety percent of what I had to say was either silly stories about my life or absolute nonsense that I penned while in the middle of high school history class. The last ten percent was like reading a diary I never thought I would read again. I wrote a little about boyfriends and even more about family troubles.
Tonight, I am going to focus on the nonsense. I realize this post may interest zero people, but I spent forever scanning and cropping paper. I have to make a post out of it now. Here are the sillier things I wrote to a friend,many years ago:
OK, these are kinda fuzzy. Gonna type it out:
You know, you’re getting pretty bad at writing. That’s ok. I’m sure you’ve been busy losing your retainer.
This of course a response to the famous retainer losing episode of ’95.
He never did throw it away. I typed awfully, on an actual typewriter.
I had a habit of inserting U2 lyrics for no reason at all.
It was a good day when OK soda made it to Washington.
Sarah and Rachel are my sisters. I don’t think anyone needed to know this stuff. I made sure to fill envelopes with it anyhow.
I’m sure his parents would have loved the girl sleeping next to their cars.
And of course, I must sign them with a clever pun and a poor drawing.
Gonna get out some notebook paper and a sharp number 2 pencil and I’m gonna write a letter at work tomorrow and hope my boss does not catch me passing it between classes.
That closing pun had awakened a bad memory from my childhood concerning letter writing. Third grade, our class assignment was to write a pen-pal letter that would get sent to soldiers in Bosnia (this WAS the mid-90’s mind you, when the biggest threat in the world was Yugoslavia’s breakup).
I had also done the “close with a pun” maneuver, only to be choaded on by the teacher. Third grade, it was one of my first instances of criticism for writing.
To say that it was a scarring moment was probably an overstatement, but I’m damn sure that it was one of the causes to my inability to 1) watch myself perform and 2) Have someone else read my own writing.
I remember in middle school, my best friend and I LOVED writing notes to one another, but had gotten caught one too many times by teachers. So we invented a FOOL PROOF (ha!) plan: we bought a notebook to write our notes in that we could pass back and forth to one another. That way our teachers thought we were busily taking notes on their fascinating lectures, when in actuality we were writing things like “I saw Dustin at his locker this morning. I almost fainted. He has no idea I’m going to have his babies.”, or drawing pictures of our favorite comic stick-figure, Fido Dido. Or saying blasphemous things about other girls in our school–that we would promptly become BEST FRIENDS with the following week.
I came across some of those notebooks while rummaging around in my parent’s attic a few years ago. I dread having children, for fear they will be as rediculous at age 13 as my friends and I were…
Fido Dido, that is funny.
I love this post so much. I never fulfilled my commitment to any of my pen pals, but I was quite a note passer. I too would love to see what I’ve written instead of what I’ve received. In my garage I have a “box of old junk” that contains journals which are just plain embarassing, and also a bunch of notes from one of my high school boyfriends. He used to sign each one with a reference to Alice in Chains. For example: Love, Scott (the man in the box).
I do not recall sleeping on your floor, but if I did I’m sure it wasor comfortable than a garage. Jesse and I did the letter-sending thng. We also thought it was funny to “fling” rubber bands at each other accross the country (he lived in Iowa I lived in Washington) so we would fax rubber bands with notes that spelled out annie lennox lyrics to “no more I love yous” but we’d only spell out the ” boop-a-doop a-doop-doop-doop ahh-we-ah”
I miss Jesse
That would have been a surreal experience, to read your thoughts from so long ago. The few times that I kept a journal are very interesting for me to go back and read about in this day and age.
And a real typewriter???? Wow. That’s old school!
Oh Boy!!!! Can I use your “Audioz” when I sign my name from now on? That is beyond awesome!