Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Letters

The day before yesterday I got a package in my mailbox from an old friend. It was a legal-sized manila envelope and it was "fluffy".

This friend is getting married in October, so I thought perhaps he had some really creative wedding invitation (which is so "him" and would not surprise me in the least.)

However, what I found inside has affected me in ways I never could have anticipated. He had written a letter, to approximately 20 people, that explained the contents of his envelope.

Apparently, he had kept all written correspondence from all of his friends from as far back as he began receiving letters. Now, when I say all correspondence, I mean notes passed in class in Junior High all the way up to family Christmas letters.

In his accompanying letter, he explained that he was going through all of his things, in lieu of his upcoming nuptials, and that his rather large collection of notes was something with which he was going to part. And so he sent all the letters back to their original authors.

My envelope full of notes was alarming. I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning! What would I find in a pile of notes passed in class from my teen-aged self? What do you really have to say at fourteen/seventeen/etc? Obviously, I was not at a loss for words.

What I found amused me, inspired me and made me both sad and proud. First, I found I spent WAY too much time obsessing (to put it mildly) about my "love life" (who I was or wasn't dating, and why). But outside of that, I seemed pretty "normal".

All of my notes asked how my friend was doing, and commented specifically on whatever was happening in his life. Several had apologies for my being self-centered or hurting feelings. I recorded my feelings with a humor I didn't remember having. And I thanked him frequently for his friendship... Not bad for a teen-ager, huh???

Some less inspired observations include:

  1. I should have majored in origami. Most of my notes were folded so intricately, I almost couldn't open them without ripping them. Now I have no idea how I ever folded them to begin with.

  2. The Drama Department part of me somehow believed I would be famous. At least every other note advised him to keep my signature, because someday it would be worth something (still said rather tongue-in-cheek, though).

  3. If I had put all the energy I put into worrying about boys into the Drama Department, I would indeed be famous today. I almost don't recognize the teen-aged me who was so obsessed with boys!

All in all, it was a fun trip down memory lane. And, it gave me some insight into what I will be facing in the not-so-distant future with my own children.

So, thank you, my friend who though so much to keep these letters for such a very long time. What a great gift! It was great to laugh, reflect and remember.

1 comment:

ThePrincessMommy said...

Aww - come on - we want some quotes verbatim from the letters. I bet they are hysterical! This is so good!