I got a letter in the post yesterday. From one of my oldest friends. An honest-to-god, real, proper letter. It was accompanied by a birthday card (which kindly didn’t bear a huge reminder of my age, bloody hate those cards) and a cow –bookmark. All of these a testament in their own right how well this person still knows me. I say “still knows me” mainly because it has, sadly been years since we’ve met in person. Once upon a time we were pretty much inseparable. She has seen me at my best and most definitely, at my worst. She was there when our main focus seemed to be going out every weekend to consume liberal amounts of alcohol and dance around our handbags to some very questionable music. Music that now makes me very nostalgic, I might add.
I miss getting letters, I really do. When I was about 9 or 10 years old I used to write to my friends all the time. Regardless of the fact that we saw each other in school every weekday and played together on the weekends. I still have most of the letters I received from my friends, too. Written on a number of differently patterned pieces of paper, it’s all very innocent. “How are you? I’m good. What did you think of the maths exam? I thought it wasn’t too bad. Do you have a crush on anyone? I think XYZ is very cute. Do you want to come to my house on Saturday? Write back soon.” This would be put into a envelope, glued shut with a sticker and maybe some additional glitter, the recipient’s name clearly spelled in block capitals and handed to them first thing in the morning. The following day I would receive a letter pretty similar to the one I’d just written the day before and so it went on until we felt we were too old to do it.
I am getting sentimental here, I know but I suppose those letters and my old diaries remind me of an uncomplicated, innocent time in my life. When my biggest worry was the upcoming quiz on times tables or how to scribble out the name of the boy I liked into my notebook as many times as possible without him or the teacher noticing. I would love to go back, just for a day. Sit at that old yellow desk, take out my books, run around the playground, skip rope and do all the things that were so important then. I can’t remember what they were, but I’m pretty sure horses were somehow involved. Horses and stickers.
I’ll stop now because I know I must be boring you to death. And all this brought on by a simple letter. I am a sentimental old fool, aren’t I?