Saturday, January 16, 2010

What I Think About When I Should Be Sleeping

I've been wanting a pen pal for a while now, especially since I saw this and this. (Truly, you should click those links - you'll feel like you just rewound through a hundred years. Also - you'll want to practice your penmanship.)
I think it really started with [Julie &] Julia, - tell me you didn't love her correspondence with Avis?

Someone to exchange small thoughts with, mail to look forward to, pretty things to collect - I'm smitten.

Any takers?

I think I know why I want a pen pal. As with most of my romantic whims, it represents something deeper. In this wrinkle of our life that is absolutely dizzying in both scope and speed, I swoon at the notion of a slower, simpler time. And I'm jealous of a life that lends itself to having a pen pal.

And then I think, 2010 has plenty of time for pen-pals, we're just prone to trade the intimacy and charm of that kind of correspondence for posting to blogs. And writing on facebook walls. And tweeting.

I love that. And I hate that.


  1. We are kindred souls!

    Holiday cards and letters have dwindled from a trickle to a stop (I LOVE "procrastinators" who, while beating themselves up for it, delightfully stretch the glory of receiving real mail out for me. And to be quite honest I think I savor it more when it doesn't come in with the hoardes, it makes it all the more pounceable).

    I've actually decided this year to write more thank you notes and NOT take the easy way out and email or Facebook them to their recipients but to actually snail them (see above explanation of "pounceable" for logic).

    I've splurged on some fun stationery and a great pen. I've stocked up on stamps (although now that I've checked out your link and seen how artistic multiple stamps can be I'm definitely rethinking "Forever"!).

    And I'm only posting this here because I don't have your address! :)

    Thanks, Em.
    PS: When you get settled, please let me know where you land!

  2. I used to spend hours practicing my penmanship when I was younger. Sadly, it has indeed suffered with the advent of the www. You don't know me, but you and I could strike up a pen pal relationship if you'd like.

  3. Hi Emily,
    This made me think of a program called women for women. You can sponsor a woman in a war torn area and exchange letters and get to know her as you help her. I found out about this program from a book called The Other Side of War, which is just astounding. I haven't sponsored a woman yet but this should be my year. I know a friend who sponsors a few women and she loves it.
    Here's the link:

  4. you, me, letters, let's make this happen

  5. what an awesome idea. I truly look forward to "snail mail" that isn't just catalogs or bills. Em, you should set up a penpal exchange! And if you haven't read My Life in France yet (part of the basis for Julie and Julia), you're missing out--it's one of my favorite reads.

  6. which is not to say that I wouldn't love being penpals with you--it just sounds like everyone else would be too and you'd be a little overloaded. :-)

  7. Em,
    I'll be your penpal, too. I think it would be pretty dreamy to have a mailbox brimming with pretty letters from far-away places.