We’re running another Letter Writing Club this summer, and I hope you’ll join us. It’s July 27th, from 6:30-8:00 at the Main Shop. I’ve finished off all the pen pal matches and they’re now all out in the wild, and now I’m trying to catch up on my own snail mail.


We’ve run the pen pal match up several times now, and I hear back that sometimes it was a perfect match! How did you know? Please replicate exactly this! And sometimes I hear back that it was a total failure, please do better. It is always disappointing when a match doesn’t work out. I always feel terrible, especially when it seems more one-sided, a jilted correspondent, unrequited snail mail.


But it happens! And that’s life. There have been so many matches made that some were bound to work out and others not, and all you can do is throw your hat in again.


Even without the excitement of a random match hosted by your favourite local stationery shop (ho ho), sometimes writing to a long-distance or close-distance friend can be a safer bet. You have history, you have inside jokes, you have some insider knowledge of the life events and birthdays and career paths and movie choices. You can be goofy or weird right off the bat. Starting from scratch and carving out a pen friendship has its perks, as does the familiarity with someone you know.


So even if you can’t make it, I hope you are writing letters. Caleb and Naomi have been on and off with their various pen pals and now after several years, it seems to be picking up a bit. At their ages, 8 and 5, there’s a not-insubstantial amount of parental involvement, finding the paper, guiding and making suggestions, address writing, getting it to the mailbox. Not all families have envelopes and stamps ready and everyone is busy, of course.


Caleb is old enough now that I can send him to the corner to drop off mail, which is a delight. A delight because it is only the beginning cusp of the terror of independence in this city of TTC stabbings and bicycle/vehicle collisions, but we will take the delight for now. Delight in the gleam off the smile of the unhinged mamas waving their chickens off into the world.


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July 14, 2023 — Liz Chan

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