I'm bipolar. I blog about it. I also blog about sex, theology and atheology, funny shit and sad shit, books, music, feminism, and love. Mostly love.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Value in Letter-Writing

We have a great gift past generations lived without. When I want to talk to my mom, I can call her, and assume that she will answer or call back. Immediate satisfaction. I can have an entire conversation via text message telling all my girlfriends, in a group message, how a date went. They can immediately ask questions, and likewise, I respond immediately with all the juicy details. I use my cell phone all the time to talk to friends and family; to quickly tell them I love them, or relay bad news.

But letters. What happened to letters?

When I pass the computer table, I always peek in hopes of seeing my name printed in pen on an envelope. When I do see my name, I get super excited. My shoulders shoot straight up to my ears, I make silent, happy claps, and I hop from foot to foot. I don’t think I’m the only person that likes letters or cards. Everyone gets a little excited! It takes no real effort to send a text message. It’s become part of our lives. You can do it standing up, sitting down, on a bus, on the toilet, under your desk in class… and we’re so good at it now. I’ve come to expect that a person respond to my text within the next five minutes. But there’s nothing special about that.

Letters are different. You have to sit down with something to write with, and something to write on. You have to correct your own spelling and grammar mistakes. And since you’re there, you feel compelled to say more thoughtful things. In order to fill up that space, you come up with more to talk about. And you don’t just relay those things that happen to you, do you? You talk about the way they made you feel. Sometimes I write a letter and I learn things about myself that I hadn’t taken the time to notice. I don’t believe I can say the same for texting.

And when you start writing, back and forth, back and forth… you start to get excited about your next letter! You’re waiting and you start to anticipate that response. And when it comes you feel somehow relieved that they still care, and that they can still find you. And that response! In that time you’ve thought of so much to tell them! You’ve done so many cool things, and met some strange people…

What about letters? What happened to them?

Just because we have the option of immediate satisfaction, doesn’t mean we can’t still practice patience. It doesn’t mean we can’t stop to make an effort to tell someone how much they mean to us. It doesn’t mean we can’t feel a sense of satisfaction when we read our name on the envelope.
Amanda sent us post cards.
Write me a letter, friends. I promise I’ll write you back.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Quiz

The Quiz by Hello Saferide was easily my favorite song a few months ago. I listened to it on repeat, and it brought up questions in my mind. What would my own quiz consist of? Her list was clever and raw. It defined her hopes and expectations as well as her fears upon entering a new relationship. I sensed a cautious kind of "next step." You could tell she'd been hurt, and she was a little scared, but she was moving forward regardless. I think we all have an unspoken list of requirements for potential partners. Most people haven't put those requirements into words, which can kind of suck. Some offended or hurt when their unspoken rules are broken. Or they just don't find someone worth having, because those standards aren't clear enough in their minds. But I know those standards, those hopes, are in our hearts--silent. So I'm giving those feelings a voice. Here's my quiz:

If you want this...

you better love this.
  1. Do you like Harry Potter, and which house are you in?
  2. Are you willing to do the dishes, if I'm willing to do the laundry?
  3. Can you put away your phone when we're together?
  4. and can you call me when you know I'm anxious, and text me good morning?
  5. Can you tolerate my bitchiness when I'm premenstrual, and find the ibuprofen when I'm there?
  6. Can you watch you've got mail over and over and over and over and over and over...
  7. Can you be good to my friends, and love my family like your own?
  8. Will you take me on adventures?
  9. Do you like kids, and do they like you?
  10. Can you remind me to take my meds, and handle me when I forget?
  11. Will you sing with me in the car, and attempt to learn the Waycross songbook?
  12. Will you turn off the air and roll down the windows?
  13. Do you wear glasses, and do you like mine?
  14. Will you learn to love Waycross as I do?
  15. Do you care if I don't wear makeup or fix my hair? Will you think I'm pretty anyway?
  16. Will you make me a friendship bracelet?
  17. Will you sit on the fence, or jump fences for me?
  18. How far left do you lean, and what is your stance on God?
  19. Are you creeped out by pansexuality, and how do you define yourself?
  20. Do you like string band music?
  21. Will you read books with me, then discuss them over coffee?
  22. Will you hold the door for me, but let me hold the door for you?
  23. Will you hold my hand through finals?
  24. Are you feminist?
  25. Will you give me massages, and will you cuddle on the couch?
  26. Will you write me letters when we're apart?
  27. Will you watch every single episode of Buffy and Dark Angel without making fun of the terrible writing? Oh, and will you be nice even when I accidentally tell you the ending?
  28. Will you be my date at all my sorority dances?
  29. Will you only say love when you mean it?
  30. What are your standards?
I'm curious to know what you want from a relationship. Tell me in the comments.

Here's the song I was talking about.