I got a couple of great packages in the mail this week. One was a funny card from Diane, my Central Massachusetts friend - too old ladies sitting together, one asks the other "Is it butt naked, or buck naked?" and a personal message that simply said "I miss you."
The next was a package from Harriett, my Northampton Massachusetts friend which was so securely wrapped I almost couldn't get it open. After much struggle and the use of scissors I got through the first layer. Inside was more packaging secured with a frog sticker. Then finally, wrapped inside a few printed out pictures of her and her husband and her cats, were buttons. Yes, buttons - even they were wrapped and taped carefully. These buttons are all very unique and slightly retro. She sent them to me because I mentioned I had purchased a great vintage swing jacket which only had one button hole and a missing button. She has a thing for buttons so she immediately sent me a few from her vast collection to choose from. I'll probably use all of them, even though with this jacket only one will be truly functional.
When you don't live near the place you once were, when you are not near your friends, these little reminders of them become as valuable as they should be. Because I have experienced this notion in the last year or so, I started sending out REAL greeting cards again - you know, the paper ones that you buy in the store - the kind you can sign your name in - you know with a pen - and maybe even include a personal note. Between email, text messages, tweets, and Facebook, life is getting less and less personal. The more "connected" we are by technology, the less connected we are with each other. Seems the more communication we can have, the faster and more high-tech , the less valuable it becomes. There's nothing like holding a card your special someone has held - nothing like reading a message written in his/her handwriting.
When a birthday is announced on FB, all the birthday girl/guy's "friends" leave a message in his/her page. Something clever like "Happy Birthday Joe!" Sometimes the more competitive will leave the message the day before so he/she can be "first." How's that for a heartfelt sentiment? Yeah.
Lately I've resorted to bad birthday Haiku to express my FB birthday wishes. I figure anything's better than a generic FB greeting.
I will now officially offer my prediction that Facebook will soon become the new Verb du jur, used to describe anyone or anything that is fake, predictable or boring.
Not that I'm criticizing this absolute gold mine of internet ideas, mind you. In fact I could use a few gold plated thoughts and ideas right about now myself. It's just that - well, is it me or has life become ridiculously impersonal?