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The Lost Art

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I cannot remember the last time I actually sat down and wrote a letter to someone.  I don’t mean a Christmas card or birthday card or even a thank you note.  I mean the last time I actually sat down and wrote, at length, an actual letter.  It must have been 10 years ago or more at least.  We have email now.  You type and send.  No envelope, no stamp, just instant gratification or aggravation, depending on the recipients view of what you’ve written.    It’s become a lost art.  In digging through some old papers the other day, I found a letter that was written to me twenty years ago.  Twenty years ago we had no internet, at least not at home.  I didn’t even own my first computer until 1998.  If I needed to contact someone in writing, I wrote it.  After finding this piece of my history, I decided to sit down and try to write a letter.  I had no intention of actually mailing it, I just wanted to see if I could still pull it off.  I have now found that it is not like riding a bike.  I haven’t done that in a long time either.  I devoted a whopping 35 minutes to this endeavor.  Fail.  After wasting six sheets of my son’s notebook paper, I finally managed to craft two whole paragraphs.  Two.  That’s it.  Fail.  I got frustrated over my continual misspelling of words.  This is 2011 right?  Why don’t we have spell check on pens yet?  I mean we can put a man on the moon, but….oh, wait, we can’t do that any more either, can we?  Scratch that.  We can import $4 toasters from China at the speed of sound but we cannot put spell check on a pen?  What has this world come to?  I’ve set a goal to write, by hand, at least one letter to someone before the end of this year.  I figure if I start right now, I should be able to scrawl out two pages by December 31.  Can you still buy stamps?

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