When I was in middle school I lived in a suburb of Dallas, TX and I had a pen pal in France. From what I remember she lived somewhere in the great expanse between Paris and France’s southern coast. I’m sure my mom still has a box somewhere in her attic of our letters. Maybe I need to find them.
Her name was Yannick. I can’t remember her last name. Or maybe Yannick was her last name and I can’t remember her first name. Nevertheless, we had a great time for a few years writing letters back and forth to each other where we talked about all the typical things middle school girls talk about; boys, clothes, makeup, movies, TV, etc. This was in the early 80s when the TV show Dallas was popular and she actually thought I had an oil derrick in my yard since I lived in Dallas. Isn’t that funny the perceptions we create in our mind of other people and cultures based on TV! I did live a few miles from Southfork but I was living in typical 80s suburbia and my father was not a cattle/oil baron. . . . . .but he did have a Stetson.
We would send each other postcards and stickers and magazine articles. Envelopes with pink ink and doodles drawn on them. PAR AVION.
She and I lost touch due to reasons I don’t recall. What I do recall is how much I loved the experience of writing to someone I didn’t know yet came to know. And I loved the writing. I also loved the feel of pretty stationery in my hands with pretty ink and licking the stamp (yes, we used to have to lick the back of them back then) and sending it on its merry way across the ocean. I loved the thought that something interesting and pretty was on it’s way to me and loved going to the mailbox to get her next missive.
Did you have a pen pal? If so, tell me about it!
I still love going to the mailbox although it’s nothing but bills, junk, and catalogs now. I’m on every mailing list I think. When I got married and moved into our first apartment and my dad saw our tiny little apartment mailbox he told my husband, “Son, you’re gonna need a bigger mailbox.”
No one writes letters anymore. We are so used to texting and social media. We don’t even talk on the phone anymore hardly. Even this lover of pens, pencils, ink, stationery, and stickers rarely writes a letter to use all the beautiful tools she collects. I’m very introverted so letter writing is right up my alley to use my creative mind in a quiet way.
In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and all I resolve to write more. So, when I read a blog post from the Wonder Pens stationery store in Toronto that they are going to do a pen pal match up I jumped at the chance for another international pen pal. February is International Correspondence Writing Month, InCoWriMo for short, where the goal is to write and send a letter every day – and hopefully get to receive a few letters, as well! Good thing February is a short month! 😉
PS – Yannick, if you are out there, write me!1