Once upon a pen …

My ex husband is moving. (The second one.) He’s off to California sometime in June and so I am forced with finally having to clean out my stuff from the basement that once was mine. Being such a nice man he actually started to do it for me and recently delivered three boxes of photos and memorabilia to me. One of them contained a box of notes from my high school days …

Note writing was an art … papers full of life altering data and top secret information folded into little squares begging to be opened. (Like who has a crush on who and how tight Mr. Marino’s pants were on any given day, complete with illustrations.) The bulk of mine come from a select few people.

There are the rambling exchanges between my first “love” and I …. 16 year old logic at its best usually composed in 5th period study hall. “No …. I just cannot be your girlfriend, it wouldn’t be right …. stay with your current girlfriend and someday, maybe, it will be our time.” Confessions of love and heartbreak that culminated with HIM breaking up with ME….and then another 6 months of broken heart and how dare he notes exchanged between my girlfriends and I.

There are the perfectly composed, beautifully hand written letters from my first older boyfriend … who come to find out is actually gay. (The handwriting and his inability to go beyond second base should have been a sign …. those and the Jon Secada lyrics he sent me more than once.)

There are congratulatory cards and letters from the ladies on major life events involving things most often found at the bottom of a martini glass or on top of an ice cream sundae. Yes, we sent cards, bought each other gifts, and somehow managed to exchange them within a few weeks time. I guess it was contagious.

The days of writing it all down are pretty much gone. My children will not have these boxes of history to shuffle through and bring out the laughs and tears. Exchanges now are often a word or two, abbreviated in code, and sent on a phone only to be deleted or lost when the phone breaks or gets replaced. It is so much more than just a note … it is the fact that communication is becoming a lost art form and exchanges have become quick and often impersonal.

I’ve never stopped writing. I have a couple of friends who still do as well. The main difference is now it’s an email and unless you print it out it could be lost forever. Words are powerful and I fear my kids will never really know how to use them.

As previously reported, I have a new special someone in my life. He’s an amazing person with an incredible ability to communicate. We write. Our first exchanges were long messages, sent via Facebook and text but always in complete sentences and thoughts. Refreshing.

Shortly after we first began seeing each other he went away for several days. Most nights during that time we wrote to each other, long emails full of feelings, stories, insight, and a few laughs scattered in as well. At my age, and his which is slightly older … hehe … we have amassed some pretty heavy stuff. Our letters opened the doors to healthy conversations and intimate moments that otherwise might have been difficult to share. I’ve since printed them out and stashed them away. (But as I sit here and type I’m thinking I haven’t seen his handwriting yet …. hmmmm.)

It saddens me that handwriting has given way to typing and signatures to thumbprints.

The FBI can’t hack into my box of notes … although perhaps even scarier than that is the thought of my 13 year old getting his hands on them and realizing I was once a mostly mindless teenager, too. Thankfully most of them are written in cursive which is the equivalent to hieroglyphics to today’s youth….the drawings of Mr. Marino’s inappropriately tight pants … not so much.

Risks aside, I will not stop writing. I hope it continues to be a part of my new relationship. Often, when the words cannot be expressed through our voices , the paper … or screen… help us get them out.






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