Sunday, March 7, 2010

The 8th wonder of the world

Is electronic mail the 8th wonder of the world? Sure, email is great, and I bet even fax machines were amazing when they first came out...but have either really replaced snail mail?

Nope, I don't think so. Not in the least. I admit, it's a pain in the ass to buy stamps, buy envelopes, find pen and paper, find out someone's actual mailing address, physically write the letter, lick the envelope and stick on a stamp, and then find a red bin to shove it in. You worry that you're going to have to put on more stamps (alas! another 54 cents!), the envelope's seal is going to come lose in transit and everything will fall out and end up in the gutter (because you bought the cheap, dollarstore ones), and that your grandmother's birthday card won't make it in time (because you didn't get around to doing it until Friday after the last pick up and her birthday's on Monday).

But note: you were sending a birthday card, to your grandmother. Awwwwww! Isn't she going to be delighted? That's so sweet!

And let's go further in-depth--why are we socialized to think that a real card sent in the mail is so darn special? Is it because it's rare? Of course. Or perhaps it's because you went out to buy stamps and envelopes, found a pen and some paper, found out their actual mailing address, physically wrote a letter (or signed a card, whatever--you still picked it out), licked the envelope and stuck on a stamp, and put it in the mailbox. Then you risked someone else finding your card out of the envelope, reading it and laughing, and then throwing it out. It was late--but it's called "snail mail" for a reason, right? At least it got there.

I actually don't think many envelopes bust open on the way--get wet, maybe, but that just adds character.

Think of how much thought went into that card!!!!! Maybe THAT'S why it's so special.

And, who isn't delighted to receive a non-bill in the mail? I LOVE LOVE LOVE receiving mail! If this wasn't the Internet, home of pervs and kidnappers galore, I would give you my address right now and let you send stuff to me. Heck, I even like buying stuff online rather than in the store so I can get packages in the mail. If that isn't a desperate ploy to give my mailbox a job, I don't know what is.

And think about how you feel after you send someone something. When you get past the worry mentioned above (I'm a bit of a worrywart, I know, but keep reading), and realize that most likely it's going to get there...isn't there a bit of anticipation on your side, too? I wonder if it's there yet. They'll love it, I know. I wish I could see the surprise on her face when she looks in the mailbox. Will she send something back? I hope she calls or something to let me know! Is it there yet? Anticipation is great, too :) It's one of my favourite parts of Christmas. It drives my sister crazy, but I unwrap stuff reeeeaaaalllllyyyyy slowly, to draw it out.

In conclusion, emails kind of bug me. They're convenient, sure--but they make you hurry: Ok, I KNOW it's there. Why the h*ll isn't he emailing me back yet? I need to know NOW!!

And when you have 14 emails in (just one of) your inbox(es), and you have to respond to 8 of them NOW, and 4 were junk, and the other 2 can wait even though you know you'll forget about them and then you'll be in sh*t... don't you just wish someone would send you something nice in the mail?

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