ONCE UPON A TIME, WE WROTE LETTERS – Marilyn Armstrong

Garry was saying he was taping an old movie, “A Letter to Three Wives.” He thought the whole concept of writing letters was kaput. No one writes letters anymore. We may dash off a note on a card, but a whole letter?

“When,” I asked Garry, “Was the last time you wrote a real letter.”

“When I wrote to you, in Israel?”

“Yup,” I said. “And the letters I wrote to you from Israel were the last personal letters I ever wrote.”

“Funny about that,” he said.

“Sure is,” I answered.

That was 1987.



Categories: Blogging, Humor, Personal

Tags: , , ,

20 replies

  1. One of the problems is that postal offices disappear (and rightly so, if nobody writes letters why should ppl be employed – parcels too, we have one postal office for 60000+ ppl and they are a disgrace. They forget to deliver parcels, the mail comes maybe twice per week, but stamps are dearer at least 2-3 times per year. Last time I ordered (online) stamps, I was complaining that they sent me stamps for ‘worldwide’ instead of ‘Europe’ and the link they sent back revealed that ‘Europe’ doesn’t exist any more. Up to 20g is now the same price for Europe as worldwide…. I have no cards under 20g so that makes 2 stamps!
    I might be the only person in France still writing letters, and cards, and mails of course too – and I’m writing on your blog now…. My blind mother is still requesting letters too!!! I often send cards which I make myself with photos of mine, stuck on shop-bought cards and matching envelopes. I always add a tiny little something to brighten the day, a sticker, a felt heart, in autumn one or two leaves. It gives so much joy, to the recipient and to me. It’s a sign we are thinking of the other. But I also have a letter, in which I add more from time to time, and which was meant for my mum’s 93rd birthday in July. It’s still a work in progress and many things have changed. Today, I thought I’d add some more and maybe prepare it for printing and mailing out tomorrow – then I figured I should visit Marilyn after a long hiatus 😉 😉

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  2. My fifth grade class (1986) was all hooked up with pen pals… that may be the last time I ever actually wrote a letter. I can’t remember if the letter to our Senator we were required to write in high school Civics class was typed or written. Then there are the little notes I included with a few things I sent to people on the internet, but I don’t think those count as actual letters…

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    • No one writes real letters at this point even typed on the computer and printed. It’s all email. Of course, that’s also free and you don’t need an envelope or stamp — or remembering where the Post Office used to be!

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  3. That is one thing I missed when my mother passed away – her letters. We would write at least once a week. It was such a delight to receive a letter. I wrote one earlier this year to an old school chum.
    Leslie

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  4. my oldest daughter and I continue to write letters. I also send and receive letters from a journalist/friend I met when he was here covering the world cup 20 some years ago. it’s fun to look back at the twists and turns our lives have taken since then.

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  5. I used to write a lot of letters but all I do now is send out a few Christmas cards and the odd birthday card. My emails are like letters or blog posts. They are long, but as Alli says it won’t be the same for future researchers. Will old emails even survive?

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  6. One of the things I find saddest about the demise of letters is how historical sources will change in the future. Old emails and tweets are hardly the same as a handwritten letter from the past.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. True, although for official business I still have to write a letter. Inremember when I moved to Switzerland, I would write my parents quite often. And they replied by letter

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  8. Yes it’s very true that people don’t write letters. They write emails, texts and whatnots!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t even own stamps anymore. It’s embarrassing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sadje, we could say, share, reflect on so many things in letters. Things we might have difficulty verbalizing, face to face.
      There’ll always be the memory of old love letters.

      I know I enjoyed the letters Marilyn and I shared with each other during her time in Israel.. A lot of emotions surfaced.

      I’ve mentioned how shocked I was at the tenderness shared by Dad and Mom – in love letters we uncovered after both had passed. The letters were written when they were courting before marriage. They were like different people – from the Mom and Dad known by their 3 sons.

      I remember with great internal embarrassement — the love letter I wrote an old girl friend when I joined the Marine Corps in 1959. I can still clearly see the purple prose and florid language. I always wondered how she felt when receiving that letter. It was from the age of innocence.

      It’s hard, I think, to convey tender emotions in texts/emails, etc. So much lost to acronyms and social media shorthand. A lot of poignant feelings are lost. Sad.

      Liked by 1 person

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