January 4, In Which We Do New Old Things

cubby 4

Behold cubby 4: Precious Pages. Tucked in here, plainly visible is a 39 year old copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. My first Zindel. A copy of Heidi that belonged to Mama. Assorted books that came from a book club my dad signed me up for as a child. I think I need to stop right there, okay? Before I cry.


The other thing I did today was to go to the post office and drop a post card in the out of town box. As it left my fingers, my mental space was flooded with good things.

Years ago, 30 of them to be exact, ages before free long distance and the internet, I met a young man who lived three hours away from me. It was one of those odd meetings for which there really is no logical explanation. It really should not have happened. Me walking across the street and asking another stranger if she knew that young man and giving her my phone number to pass to him should also not have happened. And he certainly should never have called, right? Again, the universe decides that things will be, and then they are.

Today, I was reminded of all of that. We dated for 2 years, this guy and I. We saw each other once a month. We called a couple times a week. And then there were the letters. Every other day, there was one in my mailbox. On the opposite days, my reply arrived in his. I still have them, every one. Big fat letters, bursting the seams of the envelopes, penned in the neatest handwriting I have ever seen. Undeniable proof that at least once in my life someone loved me enough to sit down for about an hour every other day and write to me about everything and nothing, just to keep the conversation going.

We have fallen out of touch over the years. Apparently, wives and girlfriends don’t like it when fellas keep in touch with girls they used to know. I both understand and do not understand that. I get the concept of jealousy, truly I do. I don’t understand the idea of not allowing your partner to maintain contact with friends. It really is a matter of trust, I guess. Apparently, most people think the easiest way to trust their partner is to make sure they only talk to approved people–to put the partner in a cage. I’ve always figured if I couldn’t trust my partner to do the right thing, a cage would not help. But then again, I want to be the *chosen* option, not the only option.

I could insert an entire essay about the function of the word friend in the term boy/girl friend, but I won’t. Today. No guarantees that it won’t happen eventually.

So, back to today. No, I didn’t write that guy. I wrote someone else. Just a little note, not a six page bust-the-envelope missive. I’m hoping to do that every time I get to cubby 3, where the stationary tin lives. In a day where we have facebook, twitter, and email, hand-written notes say even more than they did back in the day. And at less than 50 cents, it’s still the cheapest way I know of to shout “I love you” from the roof top.

At the risk of sounding hokey, if you want a note of your own, feel free to leave your address in the comments or by email.