Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sealed With A Loving Kiss...

Maybe it is old age creeping up on me. I just recently found out that it has become almost impossible for me to comfortably get a piece of A4 paper and a pen and write something decent in a legible handwriting. In fact, with age (and I am yet to hit 40 where supposedly life begins) my handwriting is becoming worse and worse, to the point where I can hardly read my own handwriting! Ok, let me not be so melodramatic, about 10 years of typing on the computer has made my handwriting almost non existent. And yet it has always not been so.

Growing up I was a prolific letter writer. I wrote and received lots of letters from friends and family. During my college days, there was no email (at least not in the form that we know it today) and a mobile phone is not something one came across casually. I never even imagined that the word sms will become part and parcel of everyday vocabulary. Letters are what kept me in touch with family and friends. I took A4 foolscaps and wrote long letters, in clear legible handwriting. Stories were told, love professed and frustration and advised meted out in handwritings. There is nothing I enjoyed like the sound of the post man calling out my name at the gate, or turning the key into the post box and finding it full with letters for you. It was equally disappointing when you found the post box empty! Nowadays I just text, write an email, tweet something or tag you on a photo on facebook.

And over years, I kept all the letters that I ever received - right from the teenage crush I had to my dad asking me to take my college studies seriously to encouragements from my sister. Aerogrammes, stamps from different countries, envelopes of different colours and designs...When I was much older, at times, during moments of boredom when one ransacks stuff in the house aimlessly, I would open some of these letters and read them. Some were from friends now dead. Others funny. Others sealed with lipsticks from long forgotten girlfriends(Dearest Charles, SWALK -Sealed With A Loving Kiss...). A couple of years back when I was moving house, I discovered that my wife had burned all my letters. She said it was a mistake but I always suspected that she did not want old relationships sitting somewhere in the house as we began a new life...



Kids, this is what an aerogramme looks like!


PS: I wonder whether my dad still has the old telegrams I sent to him while I was in college. Almost all of them had just three words. SEND MONEY URGENTLY. I wonder whether kids nowadays know what I am talking about...

19 comments:

  1. What a lovely post - I was at boarding school and remember clearly the joy of hearing your name read out when letters were handed out at evening prayers, and the disappointment when you received nothing ...

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  2. I too miss the days of letter writing and I've got a few years on you so my handwriting is now atrocious. Actually it has been for some years and I get a cramp in my fingers if I try to write something, lol. I have saved a few letters from various pen pals over the years but not too many. I still miss getting a real letter too.

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  3. Hmm, quite interesting. I personally think letter writing belongs to the museum now.

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  4. Ain't it funny how even with the change in communication trends, the words ' send money urgently' from kids to parents never seem to change?

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  5. Jane.healy,I understand how it felt :)

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  6. Joyful, it actually surprised me how something that came quite naturally for me like writing on several A4 fulls-caps with my hand could easily be unlearned after a few years of computer use!

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  7. Nate's Girl, those three words will live forever!!

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  8. You totally brought a smile to my face!! Fantastic post.:)

    I also used to write letters...many many fat and wonderful letters! They were FULl of everything, beautiful memories now. I miss that aspect of life!:) My husband and I first communicated by letters and the same is true for some of my best and dearest friends! I'm only 30 so it isn't all that long ago, unless I flatter myself!:)

    I have to laugh about your burnt letters.:) I'm sorry maybe I shouldn't but I think I can just imagine it so well!:)

    Have a wonderful day and a wonderful week!

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  9. I blush to say it now but at some point I remember even spraying certain letters with perfume! Now seriously, in our day and age now, who could ever imagine something so ridiculous?!:)

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  10. Colleen, I can understand spraying perfume, believe me I used to get letters with lipstick! I don't know whether this is related to my wife burning them though :)

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  11. My handwriting has become sketchier too, as my typing speed improved!

    Just discovered your blog and I've enjoyed reading a number of posts.

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  12. Thanks Savvy Kenya for visiting. Just seen your new blog, I read Diary of a Campus girls for a while but never knew you got a new blog out. Will be following!

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  13. ahhh yes. Letter writing was an art form back them. We even had a letter writer for hire...and there was the 'forget me not' writing pads :-)

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  14. Nyambura, I actually benefited in terms of extra bread by writing for other students letters! :)

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  15. Heya Otieono,

    wow everything sounds familiar, it brings back memories...the letter writing, the aerograms, the spraying of perfume (except for the lipsticks though) oh i dunno about u but we had the burnt edges in letters for some artistic reasons! :P even waiting for the post man to come as & when possible & checking the post box once we got back from somewhere...
    those were the days...

    oh i do remember 'accidentally' burning those letters unfortunately...*Blush*

    of late the only letters we receive the mail box are those from the banks, notices & occasional invitations which is rare with people opted for the electronic invites for all occasions now in facebook/ emails/ sms even through twitter *___*

    thanks for sharing...& linking
    have a great day! :D

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  16. SunnyLovesRain...thanks for dropping by. Yes, wonderful memories but unfortunately we must move with the times and technology now...

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  17. SEND MONEY URGENTLY lol How precise!

    It's good your wife burned your letters. I would have done the same...mistakenly of course *grin*

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  18. You had to be precise as you were charged per word!

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  19. Is an aerogramme sort of a postcard?

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