I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas Letter: Hopelessly old-school or charmingly retro?

I wrote my first paper on a word processor in 1986. It was my senior year in high school. Although the PC, such as it was, sat in our home in suburban Columbia, the printer was at my father’s office in Baltimore. This necessitated a mad dash into the city on due day to transport the floppy disk, print, and then drive back.

Deadlines were very dramatic in those days, children. There was none of this clicking and sending. Oh there were squealing tires and home-run slides into the classroom. Students would arrange their schedules to avoid the teacher who required footnotes, rather than endnotes.

When I got to college. True story. I had to quick find a boyfriend who could type so that he could format my humble offerings, hand-written on loose-leaf. He was small, trim, furry, and bestowed with the magic of logging onto our school’s internal vax system. For shame, I would wake this poor hobbit up from slumber if I had a deadline.

Years later, when conducting my first job hunt, I had a similar relationship with a guy who worked at Kinko’s. He road a motorcycle and looked like Kiefer Sutherland. But the thing that got me was his way with bullet points.

I am not, what you’d call an early adopter. I was wooed by a man with good penmanship and a mastery of the mix tape. When we married in 1995 was the first time I owned a CD player. My beloved’s i-pod, which trickled down to me when he upgraded, and which he lovingly pre-loaded with prog rock and dreamy girls just for me, sits idle in my glove compartment. And don’t get me started on the proliferation of remote controls.

So, as the curtain closes on the first decade of the century in which I have never felt at home, I contemplate the custom of the Christmas letter. Is there any utility to wrapping up the year’s news in one self-aggrandizing epistle, when it won’t be news to anyone who follows my blog or stalks my FB? Is it ecologically sound to send so much mail? And who should have the honor of receiving it, now that the line between friend and “friend” has become so blurry.

What do you think? If I wrote one, would you want a copy?