I always wanted an aol account just so I could hear those three little words! Something about it made computers appear even more intriguing than they were during my first encounter twelve, fifteen years ago.
But before all that aol stuff, was the good ol’ hand written letter. Snail mail they call it. I can’t tell you how receiving and writing letters was quite a huge part of my adolescence.
My first written letters were to penpals. Do those still exist? Anyway, my first was a girl named Marie who lived in Finland. I don’t remember much about her except that I had her address memorized and can still recall it! We did manage to write for about 2 or three years. We always exchanged cards during birthdays and Christmas and she even drew me a few pictures.
My second penpal was a girl from Norway named Hannah. I remember her picture quite vividly. She was sitting (I guess on a rock, maybe a tree stump?) in what appeared to be a meadow or field, grass ridiculously green and was wearing what resembled a maid’s outfit, including an apron! And she had short shiny blond hair that was cut up to her shoulders. She’d initiated contact, no idea how this happened without the internet, but I remember she sounded really nice and asked lots of questions. I always looked forward to her letters.
My third and final penpal was a boy named Craig from the U.S.A (say it loud like YMCA)! Can’t remember much about him, not even the state he lived in. Oh! He had a typical boy bad handwriting and had sent in his I’m assuming, best school picture. The letters stopped as years went by. I still wonder though how each of them turned out.
My letter writing didn’t stop there! In boarding school, other than the days when we were allowed to wear our own clothes instead of uniform (i.e. civilian day) no other day was more important than when the mail came! Girls used to charge at the mail carrier waiting for their name to be called. Faces varied from ecstasy to frustration to tears. People walked away slowly, some quickly, embarrassed that they’d come out empty handed. I was pretty lucky during those times. Even when I didn’t think I’d get a letter, someone would surprise me. Friends, crushes and even my parents wrote to me! **Heart flutters**
I still run to the door to see if I got any mail, not even bills can sour that sensation! When I get my online orders delivered and the UPS guy stands in the doorway looking like he’s ready to quit, I remind him with a chat and a smile, that his job is still important and appreciated.