A few weeks ago I watched E.G. Marshall and Colleen Dewhurst perform a wonderful play called "Love Letters." For nearly two hours, they read correspondence to each other they had exchanged over a period of 50 years. The investment in postage alone probably topped off at eight or nine bucks.
Today they couldn't afford each other. I have not written a personal letter since Feb. 3 when the postage went up to 29 cents a stamp. The reason is I don't have anything worth saying that justifies 29 cents. It seems like a lot of money to spend just to tell my friends what I cooked for dinner last night.The other reason I don't communicate is that letter writing is not my favorite thing to do - especially with a dull life like mine. If I were Diane Sawyer, I'd love to write letters.
A while back, I penned a note to my best girlfriend of 40 years. When I finished the letter, it seemed so boring, so mundane, that I decided to hang onto it until something big happened.
While rummaging through a drawer, I came upon the letter and decided to mail it before the deadline - with a few revisions. I crossed out "the baby is sleeping dry through the nights now" and wrote in "the baby is working in Los Angeles." I blocked out the line about wishing "a speedy conclusion to the war by President Truman" and substituted "Bush." Out of "How many do you suppose are coming to our reunion?" I amended it to read, "are alive or able to come?"
It was amazing how much of the letter still played after all those years. I left in the part about "stretch marks cover 90 percent of my body and I'm going on a diet Monday to lose 10 pounds." The part about looking in the refrigerator and seeing only a pound of hamburger at the end of the week was still true. So was the line, "I hate my carpet and can hardly wait until someone burns a hole in it."
When I read the letter over, it still wasn't worth the 29 cents to mail it.
On the other hand, I figured if I held on to it any longer, postage could go up again. So I took the last of my 25-cent stamps and pasted it on the letter. I got in my car and drove to the post office, where I wait-ed in line for a 4-cent stamp. They were out of them due to the large demand.
Maybe I'll call my friend on the phone.