I used to have at least five or six pen pals when I was in high school and junior high. Sadly, I have lost touch with all of them, although sometimes I think about sticking a few postcards in the mail to see if any of them write back.
With the end of the pen pal era came the end of fancy packages and envelopes marked with shiny foreign stamps of birds and crowns and mountains I’d never heard of. The older I got, the more mundane the contents of my mailbox seemed to be. Rory Gilmore was right, postcard writing is a dying art. I’ll send a dozen from everywhere I go, even if it’s just for lunch in San Francisco, and I’m lucky to get back two or three a year. Sad, really.
Over the weekend though, my mailman brought me a flat, square envelope, wrapped liberally in packing tape and decorated with five different stamps – two of birds, two of mountains, and one with some old dead guy. After much peeling and careful cutting, it turned out to be a CD and letter from my English friend Luke, who I met in Australia five years ago, and who is now in Japan. He’s an international jet-setter, in a starving student sort of way. It wasn’t my birthday or a holiday or any kind of special occasion. He just thought it would be fun to send me something and say a quick “toodle pip”. Because that’s how all English people talk. I’ll bet Jason Mraz would sound really neat saying “toodle pip” and “tally ho”.
Have you licked a stamp for someone you love lately?
P.S. – Happy Canadian Holiday, Chris L! I don’t know what Victoria Day is, but I hope you get to eat cookies for it, maybe shaped like old Vicky herself.