I’M doing one of those "de-cluttering” thingies at the moment – the ones that are meant to be all about filing and tossing, but which end up with you sitting on the floor going through your ex-boyfriends’ love letters.
So there I was, reading a sickly-sweet poem from one of my long-lost honeys back in the day, when I realised that the last time I’d received an actual letter in the real, live post was from the taxman.
And there’s nothing remotely romantic about that. SARS is unlikely to decorate the envelope with crosses and hearts any time soon.
Snail mail is, according to some trend analysts, a dying beast. It’s cheaper, faster and lazier to e-mail, tweet or text message you words of love, lust, condolences and congratulations.
Heck, even my gran bent the knee to technology eventually, when she asked my dad to send one of those "computer letters” to my uncle in the US.
"Stamps are awfully pricey these days and have you seen the post office queues?” is what she said when we teased her about her growing disdain for pen and ink.
But it’s people like my gran who kept the happy home fires of write, stamp, lick and post alive. Till the day she died, she never went to bed without writing someone, somewhere, a letter. Or even just a wee note.
I still have a ton of the ones she used to send me when we lived in Joburg.
Can you say the same for an e-book?
My friend Lee-Ann and I are traditionalists in the best sense of the word. We enjoy tea and pancakes (she makes, I eat) and we love nothing better than reading Enid Blyton to our daughters. In short, we oft times live in Beatrix Potter land and we like it there.
Unfortunately, we no longer live in the same town, so I’m pancake-less. But fortunately, the long road between the Eastern and Western Cape means that we have every excuse to teach our daughters the mighty, Victorianesque value of composing a letter.
When Samara received her first-ever letter in the post from Erin a few months ago, it was like Christmas and then some. She replied, Erin responded and we sat back with Cheshire-cat grins over a job well done.
You may have received 156 Facebook comments, 24 text messages, 10 e-cards and 13 e-mails on your birthday. But trust me, sister: someone will love you long time if you take the time to think and ink.
Life’s little pleasures are forever treasures. And that’s something worth writing home about.