HU­MOUR

Lori Borgman finds the funny in ev­ery­day life, writ­ing from the heart­land of the US. Now, if she could just find her car keys...

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As tex­ting takes over, our colum­nist Lori Borgman be­moans the loss of let­ter writ­ing.

One of the most fre­quent re­quests from our grown chil­dren is for a postage stamp. Their gen­er­a­tion doesn’t buy stamps be­cause they rarely use stamps. We rarely use stamps ei­ther, but we keep buy­ing them. Habit, I guess. Who writes let­ters any­more, right? I re­cently read the bi­og­ra­phy of a man who lived 150 years ago. It was a fab­u­lous page-turner, thanks to mar­vel­lous re­search the au­thor had done util­is­ing the sub­ject’s vast ar­chive of per­sonal let­ters and diaries.

Pity bi­og­ra­phers years from now look­ing for re­search ma­te­rial on us. The only trail of crumbs we are leav­ing is elec­tronic. Text mes­sag­ing is now the most fre­quently used form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Even email is be­com­ing so last cen­tury.

Based on my trail of texts, I’m con­fi­dent no­body will be do­ing a bi­og­ra­phy on me.

Many of my texts are about ar­riv­ing, de­part­ing and how far away I am from a des­ti­na­tion. ‘Almost there.’ ‘Leav­ing in 10.’ ‘Run­ning late.’ ‘Meet you at 3.’

Plus, based on the num­ber of times I send di­rec­tions to my­self via SMS, it is also clear that I am di­rec­tion-im­paired.

The best-case sce­nario is that a bi­og­ra­pher would pack­age all those tid­bits and con­clude, ‘She was well trav­elled and al­ways on the go.’ But some­one might also de­duce, ‘The woman couldn’t tell east from west if the sun was set­ting.’

I also send a lot of texts about food. It’s not that I’m ob­sessed with food, but I of­ten plan for big get-to­geth­ers.

The ti­tle of my bi­og­ra­phy would be, ‘She Came, She Cooked, She Ate.’ It wouldn’t be en­tirely in­ac­cu­rate.

I was won­der­ing if any­body writes per­sonal let­ters any­more when I re­ceived a lovely email from a reader writ­ten in the form of a per­sonal let­ter. It be­gan with a salu­ta­tion, had a breezy in­tro­duc­tion, men­tioned the weather where she lived, and com­mented on a col­umn I’d writ­ten.

It was so old-school that I men­tioned it to the hus­band and spec­u­lated that the woman must be el­derly.

‘No­body writes let­ter-style any­more,’ I said.

I re­sponded to the woman’s email and she replied thank­ing me and not­ing, ‘Sup­posed to be 102 on Sun­day.’

‘I’m right!’ I told the hus­band. ‘The woman who wrote let­ter-style is go­ing to be 102! Un­be­liev­able!’

But why did she write, ‘Sup­posed to

Pity BI­OG­RA­PHERS years from now look­ing for RE­SEARCH ma­te­rial on us. The only TRAIL of crumbs we are leav­ing is elec­tronic. TEXT MES­SAG­ING is now the most fre­quently used form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

be 102 on Sun­day’? Did she think she wouldn’t make it past Satur­day?

Reread­ing our ex­change, I re­alised she wasn’t talk­ing about her age – she was talk­ing about the tem­per­a­ture. It was sup­posed to be 102F on Sun­day.

It was even more amaz­ing – some­one younger than 102 still knows how to write let­ter-style.

For all you know she has stamps in a drawer some­where, too.

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