Monday 8 December 2014

I Care For You

I vaguely remember my mom and dad sitting at the dinning room table surrounded by boxes of cards, envelopes, pens, pencils and postage stamps around this time of year. They were writing Christmas cards and back then they would write a paragraph or two in each card, doing a quick update on how the family had managed to survive the year. I was too small to know if the process put them in the holiday mood or if it put them into an angry mood. I like to think that writing cards made them get all Christmassy.

I was never a letter writer, and that meant that I was never a card writer either. I have the best of intentions of course, but a phone call was always just a little easier. Of course phone calls can’t be read and reviewed two hundred years from now after I have become famous, died and become the Masters thesis for some poor slob that couldn’t think of anything better to study. Mind you, there is the possibility that our government is recording and transcribing all phone calls and have been for many years. If that’s the case, we are covered and that poor slob will get to do his Masters thesis.

The first cards I wrote were probably to a friend or girlfriend, some inane comment and a signature scrawled inside and then hand delivered. I still like to hand deliver cards, but most of my near and dear live hundreds if not thousands of miles from me. Plus, by mailing the cards I am indirectly contributing to my pension.

Louise and I would send cards and write their addresses on the envelope. What got to be a pain in the ass was writing our return address on each and every envelope. We all know that you should never send a letter or a package without a return address on it…right? Well, unless you are sending a controlled substance and if you are why take the chance that both you and your buddy might get arrested.

One year we bought a stamp that you could put rubber letters and numbers in to spell out you address. It worked pretty well, just so long as you were careful to hold it just right and press it down with the proper amount of pressure so that the ink would be even for all of the letters. Usually, by the last Christmas card I would have gotten the hang of it. We still have the Stamp and I do use it from time to time.

The next method we used was printing labels on the computer. That always sucked because for some reason I could never line the labels up so that the address would just be on one label. It was just easier to write our return address by hand. I still tremble when I think of lining up those labels on the old dot matrix printer.

What saved me from the computer printed labels was fund raising letters from charities that I didn’t support. They would send me addressed junk mail that contained hundreds of labels with my name and address on them. Bless their hearts! I felt no guilt what-so-ever about using the labels and not sending money to them. I didn’t ask for the labels and over the years they should have cut me off because I have never given them any money. I was cut off a few years ago and I no longer have any labels with my name on them. However, they still send them to our house and the labels have Louise’s name and address on them which is the next best thing.

Now that I am retired, I find that it isn’t such a pain in the ass to hand write my return address anymore. I don’t know why, perhaps because the world has become so impersonal over the years and this is one small way for me to say to my near and dear…”I care for you!”

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