Aug 8, 2011

When to Stop Writing

Regarding penpals, there's a topic that often comes to my mind and that's about the sorting out of the penpals. I have several penpals, and even more addresses that will be soon balled up and slam dunked into the paper basket as they proved to be one-letter- penpals. Not that I mind, though, and mean, if they ever write again I'll probably reply, but until then I need to clear up space and keep at hand only the addresses I really need. However, this is not about the one-letter ones, but rather about some recurrent penpals I don't really feel a connection with, or maybe only a weak connection. You see, I have my favorites, and they are not many, they are a few, but these ones I LOVE like you have no idea. If you are into letter writing you probably know the feeling: those penpals who make you jump, who make you smile and laugh and carrry their letter with you to the office, and sneak into the stairwell or the bathroom, or the furthers corner of the diner, or even eat outside, away from anybody that might know you in order to read what they have to say. Those you answer before anyother, or you yearn to read even when you force yourself to wait and keep the order of arrival.

Given the circumstances that have surrounded this year for me, I have fallen back with a lot of my correspondence, which means that I have made some of my friends, even my favorites, wait up to six months for a reply. Terrible, I know, but I believe that I rather make someone wait for a well written letter (though that doesn't mean they won't be plagued with mistakes, as I'm the Striking Queen in Letterworld) than a half assed missive, sent just to keep up with the schedule, though not with the quality. Through all the things that had been happening in all fronts of my life - thanks Hyne my boyfriend is Godsent, so that wasn't an issue, and that my family is a blessing, so that didn't give me headaches, and my friends are simply perfect so they were supportive the whole time - I started thinking about my penpals, and whether it was actually meaningful to keep penpals other than my favorites. I mean, probably everybody has favorites, and we are supposed to like all our penpals, but should I, as a penpal, keep any of them other than those that really thrill me? Those that make me tick?

Well, probably if everybody decided to cast out all those penpals that are not your favorite, you would find out that maybe you are not the favorite of one of your favorites (though I really, really hope to be in the Top Ten of my favorite!), and thus if such a move were to be applied by all, there would be a lot of broken friend hearts around there, but at least you'd know were you stand. But then again, is it mature or fair to keep up with penpals that don't click for you, just because you are afraid of losing those you like? I'd say, man up, own up to it and stop thinking about what you might lose or find out just by doing what you feel like doing. Penpalling is supposed to be for fun, not another chore, so why should you put up with chore-like letters?

One of my favorites, and she knows she is, writes also to someone I can't stand. And I mean this in the "that person creeps me out to the point of making my skin crawl back and every fibre of my body tensing with the burning desire to run away screaming and waving my hands above my head". How does she put up with such a weirdo is beyond me, but she does. I guess she's just that giving and perfect. (She's the only penpal I have of whom I know another penpal, and I know who are we talking about.) I guess eventually we all need people like her, who can see the worth or the good in others and write inspite of the weirdness of their ways. Who knows, maybe I'm not one of her favorites and she finds something irking about my letters - maybe my annoyingly messy and clustered up handwriting - though she doesn't get the worse of it. However, shall it stop you from taking a decision like this based again on fear?

I'm still on a site for penpals, and I still get request from girls around the globe (after the many hitting moves from many guys, I decided to be discriminative and close the door on men in this regard. I won't write to them unless I know them personally), who are so nice, to whom I want to write badly, and I'm always concerned about the load of penpals I already have. So, am I this way closing my door also to more potential favorites just to keep on my plate people I don't enjoy writing to all that much?

Being a penpal is more than writing and receiving letters, it's also about knowing when something works out, accepting when you don't work out for someone else, even if you liked them, and about letting go those who do not click with you. It's thought though, so I guess I'll still give it some time.


Sartassa said...

first of all, imagine me dancing a jig in a pink dress with green flowers on it (wah how awful must that look like?) ... then ... yeah... is it good to be someone who can't say no to people though it would be the best decision for yourself but would maybe hurt the others? I don't think so. In some occasions it might be necessary but in fact you would only harm yourself... and is it honest? a second no ... still it's hard to realize that something (or someone) you really appreciated turns out to be not what you're looking for after a while and you avoid thinking about it till there's a big bang and everything explodes into a big struggle and people shouting at each other...
Hmm I could write pages about this but I won't... I just say ":D"

Storm Bunny said...

Depends on the pink and depends on the green and depends on the flowers. It might be quite adorable! Though white with green flowers could be better - very Scarlet O'Hara! I believe the matter is how much hurt can you take, and how well can you shoulder the consequences of your decisions. Sometimes it pays to be a but cold hearted and easy with the relationship-knife. :-P

Julie said...

Oh how I agree with you! What's the use in writing to someone you're not totally excited to get a letter from? What's the use in having boring friends in real life? Why would you date someone who's anything less than wonderful?

I'm guilty of this as well. I've been writing to some penpals for a while and now I realize that the connection is gone or just never was there in the first place. Why should I keep writing? Well, I've decided to stop writing to a few people over the last few months and I feel really bad about this because I don't want to hurt people's feelings. I just can't imagine telling someone "I don't feel like we click". But I don't want to lie either... I think it's important to be honest, but being "brutally honest" is not one of my strengths. Now I'm scared that some of those people will eventually ask why I haven't replied to them yet and I won't know what to say! HELP!

Oh and reading your description of the person who irks you made me laugh. Is there really someone in the penpalling world who has such an effect on you?! Actually, now that I think about it, I might have an idea of who you're talking about. And it's not someone that I especially love either... Can you at least say what letter her name starts with? ;)

I know that my comments are long tonight, but I'm just really glad that I found your blog again. Now I'm following you on blogger, so I won't lose your link again!

I'm still sad that my first letter to you got lost in the mail. That has only happened to me twice over the last years and both times it honestly really made me sad. (The other letter was a 44 page one to my penpal Cindy in Canada.) I don't know why I didn't write again - it didn't even cross my mind, I guess I just thought that my letter COULD NOT be lost and that it would eventually arrive safe and sound. Well, hello denial! ;)

And now I'm wondering if maybe you'd like us to try writing again? Or maybe it was a sign from the universe that we're not meant to be penpals? :P

Ah it's getting late and I'm supposed to watch an episode of "The Outer Limits" with Martin now! So I'll end my endless comment here and wish you a lovely (childfree) weekend! ;)

Julie xox

Storm Bunny said...

Hey Julie! ^_^ I would say the Universe knew that that was not the best time for us to go on writing, since I was neck deep in the thesis process. Then now-now wouldn't be the best moment either, since I'll be moving to Hungary in a few months, so how about we give it some thought until February? Then, if we decide to give it another try, I'll write you first, that way I'll send you at once my address too :-)

As for the Scary-Pal (or Freaky-ricky-milly, as a friend says), I believe she's famous world wide for her particular vision of the penpalling thing. I met her online fleetingly, but from the begining on she rubbed me wrong. Maybe I'm too free with the whole penpalling thing - hippish even - with the whole "write when you feel it, even if you feel it only when there are elections in Libya", and "handwritten or typed, it doesn't matter, as long as you feel it", and all that, it irks me when someone unrolls a wrapsheet of rules and regulations, and expect me to make of penpalling a daytime job - minus the paycheck.

Yes, I believe you know her. :-)

As for letting go penpals, what I do is to stop writing all together. Depending on the person, I would send a last letter explaining that I have no time, or I don't feel the click now (maybe later), so that I'll request for an indefinite break. Usually penpal fading is the best and easiest way to get out of the matter. Penpals usually don't ask what's the matter, but if they do, either you do the up mentioned explanations, or keep ignoring them if they are the irking type or they tend to whine and go nasty on whatever explanation you give them.

Wnehever you need ideas for letting go penpals, write me to my e-mail and I'll be happy to give you some ideas. As for the letter of Scary, I'm e-mailing it to you right away!

Unknown said...

Heya Sue,

I wonder if you've received my snail-mail by now? :)

Your Malaysian penbuddy ;)