Friday, March 14, 2008

Pen Pals

Back during the mid seventies I had a number of pen pals. I always found writing to people around the world fascinating as it opened the doors to countries where I figured that I probably would never have the opportunity to visit. Just receiving a letter in the mail with stamps from places such as Sweden, Italy, France and Jamaica would literally make my day!

Most of the pen pals I had were female which is very similar to my blogging friends. I suppose ever since the dawn of time, this type of activity was more geared towards the female gender.

Most of my pen pal friends never really lasted that long. It seemed that most of them wanted to visit me or share with me information that I really didn’t want to know about. I suppose that this was a “female thing”… At least it was with the females I corresponded with (I had better watch what I say!) Who knows. The girl from France wanted to visit me while she was at the Montreal Olympics with her parents … Zapped that one! The Italian girl wanted me to start writing her love letters… Burnt that letter! The Swedish girl asked me to send her photos of my male friends… Sent her photos of a bunch of ugly guys instead! Really ugly! The Jamaican girl told me all about her “time of the month” as well as her bust size, hips size, waist size… Shredded that one!

Move ahead six years…

While in university, a letter arrived in my mailbox from the Jamaican girl. Now by this time in my life, I was out of the pen pal phase and the last thing I expected was to find a pen pal letter in my mailbox. Also, considering the fact that I was 900+ miles away from home and in a different country, I couldn’t figure out how she got a hold of my address… Thanks Dad!!! Fortunately she didn’t go into anymore personal detail about her bodily functions or physical sizes but she did want to visit me. I never did reply to that letter and have not heard from her since! Whew!

The other month, while sifting through some old junk in my basement, I came across my stamp album which I blogged about recently. In this stamp book of mine, I came across an old envelope from this particular Jamaican girl. I suppose I kept it for the stamps. It’s amazing how such a simple thing can bring back so many memories!

Now that I am in my forties, it seems that I still enjoy “letters” from friends around the world. Who would have thought that I would be corresponding with them through computers on a daily basis! Back then in the seventies, we didn’t even have personal computers! How things have changed! Hopefully, unlike my pen pal experience, the experience of blogging will live on for many years to come… Just please don’t anyone send me your personal information… unless you want me to disappear!

20 comments:

Portia said...

you were quite the penpal! i hadn't thought about penpals in some time, but i must say i prefer to blog. maybe it's that people tend to behave a little better in a public forum.
i hope you have a great weekend:)

Rob Hopcott said...

Unless you want me to disappear - LoLs!

Thanks for a nice read :-)

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Whatever happened to the people we knew - you are right that the pen pal phenomenon has been eclipsed by blogging. Much better pictures if you ask me! Thanks for your comment on mine. That memorial is a very moving place.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I was a dismal penpal. They all stopped writing to me. I was going through my obnoxious and stupid phase and probably either offended everyone or bored them to tears.

The last one though was a girl from Iran and I lost touch with her after Iran descended into chaos and then entered Islamic rule. I hope she survived the troubles.

Jazz said...

Well dave, let me tell you about my time of the month....


Bwahhahahhahaa...

heiresschild said...

eh mon, i wondered where'd you disappeared to after my last penpal letter. just kidding! no for real, it's not the jamaican penpal, but i thought i'd get you going for a moment. wouldn't it be funny if one of your former penpals ended up blogging you? lol

i hope you were able to get a good nite's sleep without finiculi, finicula playing on and on and on... lol

Monique said...

I wont tell you my details then. Penpals eh? I do sometimes wonder what became of mine. And then I begin to wonder what happened to all my old friends.

As heiresschild says wouldn't it be wonderful if one of your former penpals discover that you blog now?

Ps, I'm coming from Julie.

Akelamalu said...

Hi Dave, I'm 21, 5' 6", my vital statistics are.....

Only joking :)

I used to have a penpal in Sweden when I was about 12. MWM had a penpal in America but I made him stop writing to her! ;)

monsoon-dreams said...

hi dave,
i had a few pen pals,and i still am in touch with one,tho not thru snail mails.i enjoyed reading ur post:-) u write about simple things,but leave me in an ocean of memories-good ,bad,funny,scary...

geewits said...

I like lemons and yellow roses and green peppers make me burp.

Josie said...

Dave, let me tell you about my last boyfriend... he was...

I can't even imagine talking about personal information to a stranger. It is beyond my understanding.

I have e-mail pen pals, and they're all wonderful.

Wanda said...

I remember pen pals. We use to meet someone at Church Camp and decide to be pen pals.

I never had very many, and they didn't last ~~~ guess I was fickle.

I think our blogging is a real form of pen paling ~~ I like this form --no postage.

abbagirl74 said...

I had a penpal from Germany. I don't remember her name nor what town she was from. I kind of wish I knew now.

Casdok said...

An interesting post.

A Happy Downtowner said...

I did the penpal thing for a while when I was in my late 20s. It was with one woman in France (she was a terrible speller), another one in Germany. It didn't last, I couldn't sustain it. I find that if the chemistry is not there, it's difficult to continue. That's just me though.

I much prefer blogging although I'm not sure it's a direct descendant of penpal :)

Sandy said...

Well darn, I wanted to tell you about my gallbladder thingy. Oh well...

Loved reading your post.

sandy

jAMiE said...

I used to do the pen-pal thing too...the things we write about, eh!

Cheryl said...

I forgot about pen pals. I vaguely remember having one. Now I have a bunch! I'll be sure not to tell you too much, though, OK?

Janice Thomson said...

I've never had a penpal but sure agree with you on the TMI! Even on blogs I see things that really make me wonder...

David Kim said...

Thank god for technology. Stamps are getting more and more expensive each year. Plus, I don't think I could wait several days between letters anymore.

I'm glad we're blog pals!