Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oy Vey

One day after posting The P.I.T.S. List and I'm already drawing from it for inspiration. So the topic for today's post is....

When was the last time you wrote a letter and sent it via snail mail?
Who'd you send it to?

I was never very good at writing letters. I had a fictional pen pal back in fifth grade who died by the mail box waiting for my letter to arrive. Her name was A.W. I really liked Rootbeer back then. I think it all started with my fourth grade teacher. She taught us the correct way to write in cursive. But she never told me how to hold a pen. To illustrate:

Grab a writing utensil. Curl all your fingers in but the middle and thumb fingers. Be careful who you demonstrate this in front of. Now put the pen/pencil over top the curled fingers, toward the finger nails, not the knuckles. Place the tip of the middle finger on the pen. Curl the thumb over the pen and underneath the middle finger. Now write.

Fucked up isn't it? Anyway...

Eventually I got really good at typing. I typed letters to my Grandma, my Dad, my old friends in Indiana and Ohio. I had the bug. Until one day I got mad at my friend Nate. I had just moved to Florida with my family. I was thirteen. Nate called the night before to accuse me of leaving him in Indiana on purpose. Not that he wanted to come with, just that I had left altogether.

Never having visited Florida, he didn't understand what the big deal was, and instantly jumped to the conclusion that I had left because of him. Because you know, thirteen year olds have that kind of power. So instead of talking it out like a rational adult (which I wasn't yet) I wrote him a nasty letter. I can't remember what it said, but it probably went something like:


"Dear Nate. You suck. How can you be so selfish? If that's how your gunna be, I dont want to be friends with you anymore. Ill take up surfing instead."

A day after I sent the letter, Nate called. His Mom had died. After consoling him I remembered the letter. "Don't open it OK," I made him promise. But I knew he would. A week later the letter came back marked undeliverable. The addresses were correct and the right postage had been added. I concluded it was Fates way of saying, "Be careful what you say in anger."

Yeah, right. I was thirteen! I thought it meant I shouldn't write letters anymore. Otherwise, people were going to DIE.

So I didn't.

And then ten years later, Hoop's brother Nash went into boot camp and sent us twenty zillion letters begging for a response. Ok, so it was more like five. But still. So Hoop and I started writing. And by "writing" I mean with a pen. Hoop thinks typed letters are impersonal. Which leads me all the way back to the original questions. The answers are, "a month ago" and "Nash." In two more months the last answer will be "none."

Because Fate and my crunked up hand say so.

Updates:
1. Hoop's Mom's puppy, the one who ate Rat Poison on Christmas Eve, is doing just fine. She's almost out of the three week grace period, and is as lively as ever.
2. They did the inspection on the house yesterday. I haven't heard anything back yet. Cross your fingers they don't find roof/plumbing/electric/termite/water/felon damage.
3. As some of you might have noticed in Monday's comments,
Mama Tulip and family are getting ready to put their house on the market. Think lucky thoughts for them!

DOT: Twisted Tink has been updated with a new chapter,
"The Gateway." Find out the secret behind Mirror Mirror! A personalized post to anyone who can guess where the story is going.

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25 Comments:

At 10 January, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

When I was in basic training, we all LIVED for mail. It was truly a lifesaver - good for you!

Whoa, I missed that about MT!

Hope the inspection goes well...

 
At 10 January, 2007, Blogger Chelle Y. said...

I am notorious for saying things in anger, then regretting it later. I am so trying hard to work on this in my life. :)

Glad the dog is okay.

 
At 10 January, 2007, Blogger Newt said...

Since he is still in boot camp we could all write him a letter. I think that would be fun. And funny too.

 
At 10 January, 2007, Anonymous susan said...

I like Newt's idea. I'd write him a letter. I'm really good at writing letters, it the actual sending part of it that I stink at. Thank God for online bankint is all I have to say.

 
At 10 January, 2007, Anonymous mamatulip said...

I love mail, but if I'm writing anything, I'm typing it. Except thank you and Christmas cards.

My therapist holds her pens the way you described at the beginning of this post. She's a leftie and she's got the coolest penmanship ever. I don't know how she does it.

And thanks for the good luck wishes! GOOD LUCK to you and your inspection!

 
At 10 January, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Chris: I understand how lonely it must get being cut off from the outside world. That's why I do it, cause I care. But he's going to owe me a hand brace when he gets out! ;)

Chelle Y: That's one of the things I'm working on too, a resolution of sorts.

Newt + Susan: If you guys want to do it, I'll be more than happy to send them! I'm sure he'd appreciate it. Sometimes I'm tempted to print off some of my posts and be done with it. hehe

Mama T: I just got the inspection in! I'll let you know tomorrow what it says.

 
At 10 January, 2007, Blogger Jay said...

My handwriting is not easy to read. It starts out pretty decent, but I get tired/bored and it gets more and more sloppy. About half-way through it generally no longer readable at all.

The last letter I wrote was what I scribbled inside of a Christmas card to my friend in Holland. She emailed me to thank me for the card, but had to aske me to "interpret" what I wrote. I did that and then later it hit me that she didn't need any interpreting, she just couldn't read my handwriting. She speaks English better than I do.

 
At 10 January, 2007, Blogger Chelle Y. said...

What's P.I.T.S.? :)

 
At 10 January, 2007, Anonymous Ch3ll3 said...

Love it! This was EXACTLY the type of post I was hoping would come of these suggestions.

 
At 10 January, 2007, Blogger Alien said...

Hey Tink... do me a favor and copy/paste your list for me, will ya? I'd do it, but I know myself well enough to know that I STILL won't be able to find it when I want it. So if I ever need it, I'll drop you a line and you can pick one for me, OK? LOL!

And hey, felons are people too, ya know? My dad's a felon and he's one of the nicest damn guys you'd ever wanna meet! (I'm kidding... he's not that nice. LOL!)

 
At 11 January, 2007, Blogger EE said...

I *love* to write letters....it's a fetish I have. LOL!

And soooooo totally awaiting your inspection results!!!!

 
At 11 January, 2007, Blogger Gracey said...

I am all about writing letters...not typing them. I think Hoop and I would get along well. I collect stationary but to my husband's relief, I do use it so he can't complain when I find another "great deal". :) Wait till Jer gets sent to Iraq...all the other boys are going to be sooooo jealous because he'll be getting a letter everyday!! :)

P.S. You have to switch to the new beta thing here. I always forget you don't have it and then this stupid thing erases what I wrote when I try to sign in.

 
At 11 January, 2007, Blogger ragingmom said...

If I had to guess on the story direction, I would guess Through The Looking Glass.

 
At 11 January, 2007, Blogger Amy said...

I hand write a letter to my grandmother at least once a month and to our sponsored World Vision children in Africa. I love hand written letters. They are magical to the soul!

 
At 11 January, 2007, Anonymous wordgirl said...

Tell Hoop that when we write thank you notes to Mr. Half's 96-year-old grandmother, we always type them and increase the font size so that her very ancient eyes can read them easily. Then we tuck the notes into pretty greeting cards. She's a very educated and proper former schoolteacher and the thinks it's not only OKAY but THOUGHTFUL of us not to make her read our teenagers' sloppy handwriting. Also, they all type better than they write and they often write MORE than just the standard issue amount of three stilted sentences if allowed to use a typewriter. She takes them out and reads them over and over.

 
At 11 January, 2007, Anonymous OddMix said...

I need a picture of how you hold a pen. I just can't manage the visual.

 
At 11 January, 2007, Blogger Foo said...

Greetings, Oh Beefy Pickle!

The last letter I sent by snail mail was written to my Granduncle. As a life-long bicycling enthusiast into his early '80s, he was interested in seeing my rolling lounge chair. I printed off a couple pictures and then set about actually writing a one-page letter on the back.

I've long suspected that my once beautiful handwriting had gone to pot, but that letter proved it. I'm so out of practice at making my hand form letters (other than those required when signing checks) that the lines were all wavey, and I kept leaving letters out. I'd get half-way through a long-ish word and have to stop for... well not a breath, per se, but a rest, definitely. And it took about a dozen times as long to write a note that would have taken me a couple minutes if I'd been composing an e-mail (or a libretto like thes comment).

Maybe I could get away with just using a nice handwriting font...

 
At 11 January, 2007, Blogger inventivesoul said...

Tink, I didn't even think about the lotto!
HAHA!!!

Hey, but I did play on New Year's and won *$1.00*!!!!
I love the movies you have on your favs!!!

 
At 11 January, 2007, Blogger graymama said...

The last snail mail letter I wrote was to tell a dear friend how much I love and appreciate her. I sent it a couple of months ago.

I have been sending happy new house vibes your way. I hope the transaction goes smoothly :-)

Hooray for the sweet doggie!

 
At 11 January, 2007, Anonymous eric said...

i write with my right hand as if i were right-handed. people always think i'm left-handed.

when i was 8, i broke my arm twice in the span of a few months. i spent so much time holding a pencil with my wrist locked into place curling around the paper that i just kept writing that way.

e+

 
At 12 January, 2007, Blogger Freakazojd said...

Here's what a GEEK I am: I actually followed your "instructions" for how to hold a pen Tink-style. Thanks for allowing me to continue to post comments, is all I can say. Well, that, and GOOD LUCK ON THE HOUSE! :)

 
At 12 January, 2007, Blogger Kell said...

A great post from a great topic from a great list! I hadn't thought about the last time I actually wrote a letter. But I am a pen and paper kind of person. It's easier to type, but sometimes, I just like to write it out.

Good luck with the house.

 
At 12 January, 2007, Anonymous TB said...

Hmmm.... didn't you just sent me a package? Now I'm a little scared :o)

 
At 12 January, 2007, Anonymous Lily said...

I'll write him letters! I'll write you letters. Anyone you want.

My mother held her pen kind of like that but lefty, and she could write in script backwards and upside down. It was REALLY freaky, something you'd have to see to really believe. Now my daughter does it, and the school says its a neurological issue. But that its ok...hmmm. Apparently people can get OT to help. But we wont.

Good luck with your house. Mine gets listed in February because I am tired of deliberating and debating. I have another house to rent while I decide, then I wont have the pressure again of trying to find/sell on the same day. So much can go wrong. I can just live in the new house while I have my breakdwon about life's directions. Then scrape my brain off the floor, and buy something where its warm.

And people dont suck. As much.

 
At 12 January, 2007, Blogger Rude Cactus said...

I'm a little (a lot) off topic, but Happy Delurking Week! :-)

 

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