8.15.2007

letters

letters are a very interesting medium. it has been said that emails have spawned horrible communication habits (shorthand, use of spellcheck, etc.). but one of the most egregious flaws in email is the ability to read and easily edit what you've written. this, it is said in Shipley & Schwalbe's Send, a book on email etiquette, amounts to the ability to edit yourself. indeed the very message you're trying to convey becomes diluted and worn, much to the extreme of any latter day Shyamalan movie. i beg to differ.

for the past two weeks i've struggled with a letter. it has been sitting in an envelope, sealed, addressed and being currently used as a bookmark in Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything. frustrating as it is and as wholly disappointed in myself as i am, this letter simply refuses to be mailed.

it's not the fact that it needs to be sent to eastern canada. it's not the fact that i simply have to make a trip to the post, something that even when i'm not itching to send never is a problem. the issue is, not surprisingly, the content. i often will second guess myself when it comes to wondering if i'm interesting enough to be written about. it is a paradoxical problem indeed. the problem goes as follows:
  • i am not interesting enough to write about, even if i am the author.
  • i am, apparently, so self-absorbed that i seem to think that i am the only thing that should be written about.
  • if i am so self-absorbed so as to think this, it should not be a problem writing about me.
as contrived as this logic may be, it is all i can do not to think about it. i have a letter, sitting in a sealed and addressed envelope. the recipient may or may not be expecting it, i have no idea. if they aren't, i'm obviously either as self-absorbed as the statement sounds or entirely pathetic (or both). if they are, my dearest apologies: i'll be with you just as soon as i figure my own head out enough to make it to the post.


-e

2 comments:

Anna, Jason and Moxy (the wiggly one) said...

Just drop it in the blue box on your way to the toy store tomorrow. It's just a cross walk away.

Soy Delicious & Kagomi said...

Dear Elliott, Dec. 9, 2007

Writing this letter has not been easy. What will Elliot, the recipient of this letter think? Will Elliott think we are mocking him or will he appreciate an outsider’s perspective? Will he appreciate the long days turned into weeks turned into months of research, tears, questions, agony and higher risk for carpal tunnel? Only 4 months and four days later we felt it was the necessary to click the post button.

We often ponder the implications of letter writing. When is it appropriate to invest one’s expression to pen then paper, then envelope, then stamp, then crosswalk, then blue box, then mailperson, then hopefully Eastern Canada, then the recipient’s eyes, then their mind? And here’s the worst part… What will they think of the letter?

Our thoughts on your blog: it doesn’t sound like the issue is snail mail being more difficult or more of a commitment than pressing send on an email, it sounds like it’s more of an insecurity of what you’re writing and who you are writing it to.

Not only are you worried about writing about yourself in a letter, you’re writing about yourself being worried about writing about yourself. So although you’re writing about yourself in this blog, it isn’t arrogant, because it’s honest. There’s a difference between respectfully validating yourself and being arrogant.

So, what has our analysis and dissection of this topic led to? Besides being a ridiculous, fun way to procrastinate studying for finals, we hope that you were able to figure out the right thing to do with your letter and that you’re always able to express yourself.

Sincerely,
Soy Delicious & Kagomi