Friday, July 03, 2009

Yesterday I did something I had not done in a long time. I went to the post office, bought a congratulatory card, stamps, wrote a message on the card for a friend's daughter, and posted it.

Snail mail.

I enjoyed that. It felt good. Brought back memories of the old days when snail mail was the norm and email unheard of. When I was younger, as a teen, it was always a thrill to open the letter box and find cards and letters. Christmas cards, birthday cards, good luck cards, Valentine's Day cards, Chinese New Year cards. It was all fun to send and to receive.

Back then, we use to send cards for everything we needed to say. Or could not say. So if we were interested in a boy or a girl, ah a sweetly-worded card would say it all. Or tenderly wish a loved one a happy birthday. I remember standing for hours at card racks reading all the mushy messages, trying to find that one perfect meaningful card for a guy I once loved. And receiving one in return. Or getting cards from bashful guys who had a crush on me but never dared say so in person. I still keep them all.

Yes, more often than not, it is not poetry and the words are corny, the sentiment overly-mushy. I don't know about you, but they still touched me very much - but then I am a sentimental romantic at heart!

Seeing someone's handwriting on a card somehow makes it so much more meaningful and personal. We may have fun e-cards today with sophisticated animation and even sound effects and music. But they can't beat the cards of yesteryear for sheer meaning and significance.

It is easier to send a card with just a few clicks today, but for someone to actually buy or make a card, handwrite it, lick and stick on a stamp, there's so much more effort involved and therein, the meaning and the care.

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