Actually, I do!
My good friend MOI is currently serving in the Middle East. Somewhere. I don't really get where. I imagine his life much like Jarhead, but how the hell would I know?
I opened my mailbox and there, delicately placed atop junk mail and ignored bills was one of those foreign looking envelopes with the blue and red border and the highly dramatic "Par Avion" stamped in the corner.
A letter from a soldier!
MOI has been in the military for a really long time. So long, in fact, that when he began his stints overseas, my grandfather, the late, great Bob Spotswood was still alive and would write him constantly.
Bob was my dad's dad, a San Francisco cop who will forever be the love of my life. I called him "DA." MOI called him Bob. And they were very close.
Anyway, MOI and I both have great affection for DA and in the interest of keeping DA's dream alive, MOI and I have agreed to communicate only by snail mail. It takes forever. But it's worth it.
Which brings me to my point. Enough with the e-mails!
Letter writing is a lost art. An art that my DA loved. Case in point: the man wrote me a letter a day the entire 4 years I was in college.
MOI, in civilian life, is a high-falutin' snob who's a wine-sniffing, designer-denim'd lawyer. But somehow, and maybe this is the sand talking, in letters he's articulate, honest and interesting and I feel compelled to respond thusly.
No one writes a real letter anymore. I sure as hell wouldn't, if I didn't have one of my dearest friends holding a gun in a desert right now. But I used to write letters all the time. My long, lost pal Erin, who moved to Los Angeles our senior year of high school and who I never saw again, well we wrote for a full year! Constantly, we'd write handwritten missives containing scandalous details we'd never tell a soul, like the time Stephen Dorf inappropriately hit on her and me telling my journalism professor the reason I was ditching class was because I had a huge crush on him. (I got an A)
I've had a penpal since I learned to write and suddenly, I stopped.
You know what? E-mail sucks. I live and breathe for it, but it sucks. Fights over e-mail, love over e-mail...Shit, I've broken up with people over e-mail. It is not, and as a blogger, I appreciate the irony, a healthy way to communicate.
There's something about the letter. The REAL letter. Something about thinking and time and patience and opening your mailbox to a real, live, handwritten page that's crossed seas and been handled and done all the work it takes to make it to your mailbox.
So your homework today is to think of someone you know that would love a letter and write them one. I'll even front you the 42 cents.
You might want to start with your Grandpa.