This blog is brought to you by the letter D (and by countless epic penpalships).
This morning as I was sitting in a staff meeting for work that I didn’t even want to attend, my lovely friend Larisa, who’s actually a big time New York workin’ gal asked me if I could please write letters D-M to make her work day fly by. So, in an effort to honor her wishes (with just D unfortunately because I’d have to be half-God to do that many letters in one day) I’m going to write my blog about her & my love of letter writing. In fact to make this blog even more momentous, I’ve decided (and I already bought the cards, they’re awesome, tree-hugger cards) that anyone who comments this blog is going to get a personal letter from me. Of course, I need your address and things, but maybe we can create a penpal network and everyone in the world will be using the handy, dandy mail system again. Maybe mail men will go back to whistling, and wearing funny hats, and cradling the stiff envelopes in their arms. Who knows…it’s worth a shot right?
Ever since “Dear Abby” readings as a child, learning all about broken relationships and what to do with frizzy hair – I’ve wanted to be a “Dear Cassie” columnist. Maybe I could be the new Jessica Parker, but of North Carolina, where CAT buses put my face really big on the side. I definitely wouldn’t pose in my lingerie like she did, my hips wouldn’t fit on the bus side. It’s because I’m a full woman, don’t be concerned.
That wasn’t really a joke, I’d love to be “Dear Abby” but who would take my neurotic advice, really? So, instead, I write my friends letters from all over the planet and spend my money on buying my real friend Abby “Holy Toast” with Mary’s face on it, or sending my friend Larisa all the cute cards I find in the Target Papyrus section and she sends me back red cards with white polka dots (because she secretly wants to cheer NCSU, she just could never admit it after graduating from UNC). My friend Christine sent me a North Carolina Blueridge leaf when I was in Australia and wasn’t going to get an autumn that year. My mother sends me stories about a specific topic, like she’ll pick shoes and then she’ll tell me about all her favorite shoes. That’s the mother of a writer folks, she can write me five pages of stationary just on her favorite childhood pair of shoes. Brilliant! Sars feeds my pre-teen girl fetishes with Bieber calenders and Taylor Swift t-shirts and Nat fills my indie-card fetish with, well..what else? Indie cards.
So, needless to say, I’m into letter writing. I think it’s more important then an e-mail that you can move to the trash with a click of the button. With a letter you can hang it on your fridge, high light your favorite parts, laugh out loud when you pull it out of an old break-up box and laugh over all the hearts your ex-boyfriend covered the letter with, only to break yours later. WARNING: This kind of letter may come with pictures of him, with his face permanent-markered out. Believe me, you don’t want to relive those memories anyway. Then, there’s letters of people who have passed and you can feel their handwriting as it comes out of their fingers, and how they scratched their chins while they thought about what advice to give you. My dad wrote me a really stunning letter when I was going through a tough time basically telling me to man-up and be the strong person him and my mother raised me to me. I still carry a note from my mom, from my 18th birthday when we had a lunch at McDonald’s and she told me “college is not cassie’s new party place.”
I encourage you from this blog to write a letter. I don’t care if you send it or not, if you burn it with your bras in the backyard, if you spit on it, or cry on it, and the marker runs down the page like chalk on a sidewalk in a rainstorm. Just write one. Let it out. Write on the back, write in the margins, scribble where the title of your high school papers would go. Draw flowers around the hole punches on the side, or stick figures in dresses and ties. If you want, send me a picture of some doodles that you created or post it in the comments if you want to share a piece of your letter, but you’re too scared to. Write it in a notebook and rip it out and play hoops in your room for a little while. Yea, I’m talkin’ to you, just cock your feet up on your mahogany desk and sink a few office baskets. Be your own commentator. Write a poem. Write a story. Write a line of a person you don’t even know and let them speak for you. Have I exhausted this? No. Will I continue? No, I think you get the point. This blog is to encourage you to write,
“Dear….Self, Grandma, Dead Grandma (I write to mine all the time, it’s not weird I promise. I even wrote all kinds of stuff to/about her at her own grave site), Dad, Missing Dad, Adoptive Dad, Brother, Best friend, ex-best friend, crush, college professor, Hitler, Einstein, Priest, Neighbor…Anyone…”
Now, go, my DEARS and write your little hearts out. Literally, draw some squiggly hearts on that page, whip out your seventh grade gel pens and go crazy! I want to see a whole jungle on that page!
Maybe read some of these first and get your witty on!
Here is a place to write yourself a letter in the future and on the date you pick, they’ll e-mail you the letter to see it. I wrote mine to myself in a year. But you can pick even ten years, or twenty. http://futureme.org/
Other things I could have discussed:
I am a writer, educator and genuine creative living on the coast of NC. Our house is built on sunshine with my husband BJ, dog named Tucker, and our two very sassy cats: Fromage and Jasper.