by Tanea Smith
I remember with fondness, back when I was in elementary school, a boy named Jeffrey Washington. From first through fifth grade we were classmates and often walked to the bus stop together after school. Jeffrey had soft eyes, smooth skin and insisted on walking around with his collar up. Look, it was the 80’s! Though I’ve grown into a pretty progressive woman back then I’d rather be hit by a Cadillac Sedan than to show what a huge crush I had on him. Then one day. . . it happened. There I was sitting in class copying notes off my neighbor’s paper when a crumbled piece of loose leaf landed on my chipped wooden desk.
“Tanea, do you want to go with me? From Jeffrey Washington.”
With 2 crookedly drawn empty boxes with 2 hastily written words: Yes X No with space left for me to check my answer.
I knowww you remember those boxes!
Did I want to go with him?? If I didn’t know for a fact that my mother would’ve wrung my neck for her having to leave her job to pick me up from school I would’ve passed out cold on the spot. Because I knew my mother intimately, I stayed conscious, checked the Yes box and held the note until 3pm at which time I had my friend D’Andria give it to Jeffrey. Though he only stayed my boyfriend for 5 or 6 days, it was the thought that counted! He took the time to write me a note in the neatest penmanship I had ever seen by then and then waited for the opportune time to send it through 4 to 5 small sets of hands to get it to me. I mean was that the sweetest thing or no?!
Fast forward 33 years and handwritten notes still have as great an impact on me as they did when Jeffrey & I began our weeklong no-mance. In fact upon hearing that my fabulous grandmother had made her transition back in 2013 I lay in bed with my nesting boxes for days and re-read every single one of the letters & cards she had written me ever since I was a little girl. In reading them I could literally hear her voice as her slanted handwriting connected with me in a very soothing way.
April is Card & Letter Writing Month. Why are handwritten notes, letters & cards still so charming after all these years? Because of the one thing that will never, ever go out of style: Emotion. Handwritten notes & cards are touching. They make an impact. They make you stop, think & remember. They grip you and give you something you can feel. Something that no emoji on a screen will never be able to compete with. We use them to send love & we feel awash in love when they show up unexpectedly in our mailboxes. No matter how old they are, they have no expiration date. We use them to thank & congratulate to announce & encourage. Your words put to paper = magic. Write on pen pals!
Tanea Smith is an Inspirational Business Speaker & the Owner of She’s Got Papers, a boutique collection of stationery & gifts. Her bold, witty, & empowering designs reflect the lives we live and celebrate the people we love. While she can appreciate the nuances of technology, her ability to help women all over the world stay connected one handwritten note at a time continues to prove her theory: “Real life is not an emoji”.
See the stationery collection at: www.shesgotpapers.com