I like…oddball things. Things that don’t necessarily jive (can I still even use that word?) with modern day practices. Like handwritten letters. I’m obsessed with communicating the “old fashioned way” (and NO, I’m not *that* old!). I have a wide variety of fountain and dip pens, even an actual quill, instruments that require one to dip into or refill them with bottled ink. Some were gifts from enablers — I MEAN FRIENDS — and are truly lovely and unique. I treasure each and every one.
In addition, I have a whole back-of-the-couch-length cabinet filled with writing accoutrements. Stationery, some of it designed by yours truly, some vintage collected from around the world (thank you, eBay!), some (again) gifted to me by friends who feed my strange addiction. Rubber and block stamps and a rainbow palette of inks. And I possess more wax seals than than probably ought to be legal; pretty floral designs, coats of arms, fandom-related symbols, and a whole bunch of homemade ones. Yes. I even learned how to make my own.
In fact, I think it all started for me with wax letter seals. My aunt gave me a wax letter seal for my ninth birthday, and it kicked off an obsession. Firstly, I was a bit of a pyromaniac at the time (what nine year old isn’t?) and absolutely LOVED the whole idea of having to melt wax with FIRE to seal a letter. Secondly, writing in code to my friends was a “thing” at the time, so sealing those missives with a mysterious wax seal — something NOBODY else had — was just icing on the cake! Yeah. I was a total nerd. Geek. Whatever. Check it out…
It’s old fashioned, but it’s fun and also cool. Partly because hardly anybody else does it anymore (which is sad) but also because it feels really good to take the time to handwrite a beautiful letter to a friend, embellish it with art, seal it with wax (and love!), and put it in the mailbox knowing it will bring that friend joy.
We get so much JUNK MAIL these days — when most people check their mailbox, it’s usually all ads or bills, maybe a delightful summons for jury duty. Generally, nothing pleasant awaits the recipient. Occasionally one might get a wedding invitation or an ordered parcel, but what about a hug from a friend tucked inside an envelope? That’s what it’s like getting a handwritten letter. It’s like a hug. Because you know that friend spent time on it. Every word had to be thought out as it was inked onto the page.
A couple of years ago, I decided to attempt to revive the charming practice of exchanging handwritten correspondence with friends, both old and new. It’s been wonderful. I love receiving letters from friends all around the world, and I love SENDING letters to friends all over the world! Yes, it’s an antiquated practice, but it’s also completely lovely. Some traditions are just worth preserving!
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