Monday 16 November 2020

Thank You

I was born in the middle of the last century. That makes me sound a lot older than I am or maybe I am a lot older than I feel. Be that as it may, I found myself smack dab in the middle of a changing world.


Up until the mid century give or take a decade or two, communication was much more difficult than it is now. Mostly people would physically talk to one another or they would write letters. There was the telegraph, but it was expensive so you really couldn’t do much more than say I am fine or send me money unless you were wealthy and then you wouldn’t need anyone to send you money. The telephone was certainly all over the place, but again, long distance charges were expensive. I used the phone system to keep in touch with my friends, make plans on where to meet and talk to any girls that happened to be interested in me. So…no girls on the phone.


My parents generation were writers. They would send letters to loved ones and friends just to see how they were doing and they would get replies back in short order with an answer and well wishes. Letters would be written to complain to businesses about consumer problems and the president of the company would write back thanking you for bring his attention to whatever the problem happened to be. I’m sure it was his secretary, but that is where the real power lay anyways.


Not everything was sunshine and roses however. If you were sent a birthday card, Easter card, Christmas card or a card of congratulations, then you were expected to send a thank you letter or card back thanking Aunt Flo for her thoughtfulness. If a present were involved then it had to be more than a scribbled thanks at the bottom of a letter your mom wrote, you had to promise undying devotion for the rest of your life and longer since of course there was a God in heaven. I didn’t understand why a phone call wouldn’t do even better than a card or letter. I guess Miss Manners would have been able to explain it to me.


I just chaulked the whole Thank You note up to an old people thing. My friends were happy with a phone call but you had to write a letter thanking Aunt Ev and Uncle Tom for the silver pickle plate they sent for your wedding. Don’t think about it…just write.


I shouldn’t complain because I made my living delivering cards and letters for the Post Office. We dreaded this time of year because the volume of mail was unbelievable. Well, at least when I first started, by the time I retired the Christmas mail volume was a shadow of what it had been. Every year we receive fewer and fewer Christmas cards and I really can’t remember the last time I got a letter. Email doesn’t count! In fact I am starting to hate getting a Christmas Email from people that should be sending Christmas cards. You can’t display animated Christmas emails on the wall, no matter how cute it is that eight dancing reindeer turn into eight naked Santa’s. That’s wrong!


I sent my grandson’s a coded letter about two weeks ago and have been waiting to hear how they liked it. Last night I texted my daughter and she texted back that she hadn’t checked her mailbox for a while. I can’t imagine going not checking my mailbox on a daily basis on the off chance that someone might send me a thank you note. It could happen… Anyways, Hurricane liked the coded letter and had translated the first page. I imagine Tornado looked at it and thought this is hard, fuck it. I will find out the next time I am talking to them. I may send them another letter, maybe I can start a trend. At the very least I will contribute to my pension in a very real way.


I can send myself a Thank You note.

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