When someone’s birthday is approaching, do you go to the card aisle at the pharmacy (or the stand like one I just found at the main Post Office) and get a printed birthday card? Or do you pick out a blank card?
Or do you cop out and just type some e-mail that looks just like everyone else’s, with the same typeface and on the same site?
But think of the times you want to remember someone. You want to get out something they sent you, not something they typed. You want something they held — even when it’s just a piece of paper.
For the times when people think of you like that, you need a card box.
You do have a card box, however informal. Maybe it’s just the box some stationery came in, or the box with a picture from a museum which once held cards with the same picture, but now reminds you of how many times you’ve sent that picture to your correspondents.
Or maybe it’s like my card box, which is a tin formerly used to hold Walker’s Scottish Shortbread (one of my favorite foods) and now used to hold a variety of blank cards. I have some flat cards, like index cards but with cats and the word “Thanks” on them, for when I want to be concise yet formal. I have some folded cards that look like the illustrations on these articles, great little “ephemera” collections and collages. Then there are the various five-by-seven cards with paintings on them which I loved buying when I worked at the Art Institute of Chicago.
I even have some cards which were completely blank when I bought them. I get them at various art-supply stores and have occasional “instant art” nights — blank cards, rubber stamps, ink pads, and it’s only seconds to a sense of artistic accomplishment.
(Well, seconds if the stamp turns out correctly.)
Sure, I have an e-mail account. I even joined Facebook (mostly to support this blog). But I continue to send out actual cards and letters, not just virtual ones. Knowing that someone has sent me something in the mail still gives me the joy of anticipation. For me, words on paper are important parts of the joy of writing… words worth defending for their form, not their meaning (just this once).
So go back to writing on paper when you can — or start it if (shudder) you never did. You’ll find it appreciated — immediately and much, much later.
For more fun with words, stop by the Margaret Serious page on Facebook.
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Filed under: Words Worth Defending