I’m one of those, yes. Not that I wasn’t raised right. My mother tried to teach me to do it. Made me do it on occasion. She also had a little sculpture my first boyfriend, Kev, gave her, of a man tugging on the reins of a stubbornly sitting mule.
Ha ha, guys.
I don’t do Christmas cards either. I tried a few years to do it. One year I did Valentines to everyone instead. After that, well, not so much. I am deeply grateful to the friends that have retained me on their lists, despite my non-reciprocation. To me that’s love — that they know I’ll never send a card back and they accept this in me.
I’m a bad correspondent, too. Since I’m confessing. When I went to college, my stepfather, Leo, gave me a stack of stamped envelopes with their address, so I could easily write home. He often harrumphed that it was the worst investment he ever made. Of course, that was just a gambit to try to keep me and my mother from running up the long-distance bill (remember when it used to cost by the minute to talk on the phone?), which was a failed premise from the start.
Ironically, I think all of this is because I’m a writer. When I do write a letter, it goes on for pages and pages. And once I’ve written a “story,” I feel I’ve written it and I’m done. I don’t want to write it again.
I know people really hate it when they’re asked “did you read my blog?” so I try not to say that. And yet I find myself in conversations where I’m telling a story and the other person will say, oh yeah, I read that on your blog. So, I try to mentally track who I know reads this regularly. You can imagine how well that goes.
At any rate, my lovely stepsister, Hope, sent me a Thank-You Note for her birthday gifts, for her December birthday. And two days later, sent me another for the Christmas presents. Even though she knows we don’t do Thank-You Notes. Yes, my mother told her, having given up on them herself. And yes, Hope reads this blog.
I was planning, Hope, to threaten you at this point. That if you persist in sending Thank-You Notes, worse, multiple ones, that I’d have to escalate by sending Thank-You Gifts. (Note: no writing involved.)
But then, I re-read Hope’s birthday thank-you and it’s so sweet. And I love hearing how she liked what I sent.
Hope and I don’t get to talk much. We’re new to sisterhood with each other and we’re both busy. We don’t have an established pattern of communication, really. We only talk when we’re together. So it goes.
Maybe this is okay then. I send my gifts and she sends her thank-yous. I tell my stories here.
What’s most important is embracing each other for who we are.