Monday, January 25, 2010

Pen Pal Wanted

I've just watched a wonderful old movie starring Anne Bancroft called 84 Charing Cross Road also starring Anthony Hopkins.  It is a wonderful, true story, based on an epistolary memoir of the same name by Helene Hanff.  I've been fascinated lately with epistolary books and have enjoyed several including The Bachelor Brother's Bed and Breakfast books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Third Wish.  I've come to love that method of story telling as well as the simple, yet fine art of letter writing.

Letter writing is a dying art.  A loss which I am learning to lament.  I shall never forget reading some of Abigail Adams' letters in John Adams by David McCullough, and thinking what a joy it must have been to receive such a letter.  There was so much of warmth, good humor, cleverness and wisdom captured in those marvelous epistles.  How I'd love to write such letters and have a correspondent who would both appreciate and reciprocate with such ease and delight.

The upthrust of all this is that I've decided I just have to do it.  The biggest problem will be to find a like minded soul out in the world somewhere, who might like to embark upon such an adventure.  I went on line and Googled Pen Pal and found those sites to be mostly engaged in matching lonely persons to someone of the opposite sex.  I am not at all interested in getting into a romantic foray with some lonely woman, or man for that matter.  I am very happily married thank you very much.

So, I am taking applications if you will.  I'm hoping for a long term, mentally and emotionally taxing relationship with a total stranger.  People who cannot make such a commitment need not apply.  Applicants must write a letter of sufficient interest and quality as to spark my imagination and persuade me that I've found someone with whom I'll happily correspond.  You need not be like me anyway.  If you disagree with me that is fine, so long as our disagreements are not allowed to foul our friendship.  This of course requires an open minded individual who doesn't mind banter and isn't easily offended.

Email will be an acceptable medium, so long as the bulk of our correspondence is done, thoughtfully, deliberately and dependably.  Typical email and chat abbreviations and streamlining methods will not be tolerated.

I suppose I'd prefer someone from far away, in different circumstances to my own.  Someone who's life and culture do not mirror my own.  I'm afraid I must restrict applicants to English as I have not bothered to become proficient in any other language.  Scold me if you will.  Even so, I'll entertain a pen pal from just around the corner if their personality and presentation so inspire me.

I expect that the person I'm looking for has ideas of his or her own regarding what form such a friendship should take and I am open to negotiations.  Certainly, once the relationship is established further negotiations will be called for as the friendship or perhaps mere association develops.

If you dear reader, are not so inclined, but know of someone who might be please forward this along to them.


Kate Weber said...

Good luck finding a pen pal! I doubt you want to write the person living in your basement. I'll see if anyone I've met online is interested, but they are all in their early twenties. It's fun conversation for me...probably not so much for you.

Candleman said...

Yes, I think I'd prefer someone a bit more my age.

Cindi said...

I watched "Julia and Julie" last week and thought it was so interesting that Julia child had a very rewarding penpal relationship with the wife of a man she had once written a fan letter.

Good luck on your search. Maybe you could start a penpal service that would hook people up.

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