End of Week One:
Three letters! I have to admit, I was a bit nervous that I would have no mail at all. As I walked over to the UPS store I felt myself get excited about what I might find in my mailbox. The walk took probably 10 minutes. It was a beautiful day; I brought the dog with me. I said “hi” to people on the street and so did my dog. I noticed things like a grandmother pushing her newborn grandchild. and families sitting outside at cafes having breakfast. I walked by a drycleaner, a manicurist, and a pet spa, all of which I did not know where there before. Runners raced by me and my dog took after them quickening our trip by a minute or two. I did not bump into anything, nor did I walk into traffic since my head was not looking down at my email on my phone.
Though the mailboxes at UPS are very similar to the ones I remember at the post office from my childhood, gone are the cool combination locks. When I opened the box I was excited to see three letters waiting for me. All three had been addressed in handwriting.
My observations after week one:
I enjoyed having an excuse for not being on Facebook, Twitter and the rest of my social media sites. My Hootsuite owl is happily snoozing.
I also realized that I skim emails. I don’t skim letters on paper. Generational? Tactile preference? Novelty? Different processing needed to decipher other people’s handwriting? Is it really true that a handwritten letter conveys more of a connection?
I generally like holding something I am reading. With the letters, I liked knowing that what I was holding was once held by the person who sent it to me. I am grossed out however, by the thought of ALL of the other people who have touched that envelope! Email is cleaner? Maybe. But it also is traceable. These letters felt secret.
There is still a pressure to write back to the authors as quickly as possible, but it is not the same as the pressure I feel to answer emails in a timely fashion.