Going Postal

There is nothing quite like finding a hand written letter amongst your bills and junk mail, Alyssia Tennant talks about the sentimentality of  old-school snail mail.

The smell of an old book. My stomach after an afternoon spent at my grandparent’s. A cute kitten video on YouTube. These are all things that really warm the soul. I love them, but it feels as though all good things must come to an end: it’s weird if I sniff an old book for an extended period of time, the food high will sadly end and I will return to my regular meals, and I rarely get to dedicate hours of my time to watching kittens on the Internet because I have a degree to finish.

But the thing that I really love is a good, old-fashioned letter. The inconsistencies of the ink, the creases in the page where it’s been folded to fit into an envelope, the fuzzy feeling that accompanies a nice letter… A used piece of paper. Mine to keep.

Gone are the days of waiting days two weeks for a reply to your well thought out letters. Gone are those days indeed, and I miss them terribly.

When I was younger, my cousins in England used to correspond with me only via the post and even though we were able to call, there was something comforting and cockle-warming about getting something hand written because I knew that it meant they had been thinking of me. Now, at Christmas time I get a wallpost on Facebook.

The reason I am such a big fan of mail is because when you write it, you get to picture their face with they read it; you get to decorate the page with writing that is unique to you; you get to sometimes cross things out when you haven’t worded or spelt them correctly, and that’s great because not only is the reader getting to know you but they get to feel your experience through both your words and your writing. Not to mention it’s nice to open your letterbox and see something that isn’t bills or junk-mail.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of snail mail, and as you might expect there’s not a lot going for it in terms of timeliness. But it’s the kind of thing that trumps sending a simple “hey” over Messenger, because you think about what you’re saying – you send a longer message than usual and you’re confident that it’s worth reading, and if it isn’t, you’ve still gone to the extra effort which people generally appreciate.

There are a few things I’ve learnt about friendship that hold the utmost importance with me. The first is that you should always let those you care about know how much they mean to you and that they’re worth your time and effort. The second is that it feels good to make your friends happy.

You can guess what I’m going to say can do both of these things. Yep, mail.

Words by By Alyssia Tennant

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