Friday, September 16, 2011

Vomit in the Mail

When I came home from the office the other day, Recon was so excited to see me he danced around my legs twice, jumped up to lick my face, then promptly ran away and threw up under the ironing board...twice. I cleaned it up good-naturedly and told him I was happy to see him, too...and that I was grateful he licked my face BEFORE he threw up, instead of after.

In my silly, inarticulate eagerness to tell my loved ones exactly how grateful I am for their generosity, I feel like Recon - SO excited to get my point across, it all comes out in a huge wet mass of word vomit. This is probably some of the most awkward-sounding writing I've ever done, but at the same time, it's some of the most gratifying.

As I said briefly a couple of posts ago, Mom was, of course, the one who taught me the art of the thank you note. She said it wasn't supposed to be like a dutiful and perfunctory form letter, it was supposed to make the person doing the giving feel as good as you did when you did the receiving. "Don't be embarrassing about it or they won't think you mean it," she said. "Just be honest and tell them how you feel."

Since I wrote those first early thank you notes for Christmas and birthday gifts, and holiday money sent in the mail by various relatives, real mail - the unsolicited kind sent from someone who loves you (as opposed to bills and junk) - has become something of a rare commodity. But I think it's all the more meaningful for its rarity. It's been such a treat for me to come home to amazing gifts of money and encouragement in the mail the past month and a half (and to have them turn up in my email inbox during an otherwise nasty day at the office), it's an honor and a privilege to send some of that love back through the mail. Even if it's love in the form of word vomit.

Mom would scold me for the timeliness - or lack thereof - though. Sometimes I get into a rhythm and I'm able to get out four or five cards in a day. Other days, it's more like one...or I'm not in the mood and don't send any. But I also consider it an incredible gift that I've been unable to catch up on these notes - for every one I send, I add three new people to my list.

Still overwhelmed and amazed by you all.

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