Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Your humble correspondent

Lookit me, posting on my own blog!

Believe me when I say I've missed you. I have composed numerous rants and half-posts in my fertile little brain, only to find that my current internet connection doesn't always deign to let me log in and post. And time is of the essence --I'm not exactly living the single mother lifestyle, since I have my dad and brother to help me out in the house during the week when Darwin is in Columbus, but there are many duties that now fall to my lot which consume a great deal of time and energy. Blah, blah, blah --who isn't overwhelmed? I keep reminding myself that statistically, I'm one of the most fortunate people in the world, in history. Most of my daily inconveniences are of the petty variety. I prayed that I could realize that there were worse fates than having one's son spill lemonade all over himself and the floor right before a road trip, and lo and behold, it turned out to be the feast day of St. Issac Jogues.

Since my email isn't always doing it for me, I've tried to turn to more traditional forms of correspondence --to whit, the letter. However, I've, run into the singular problem that no one sells stationery in Ohio. I seem to recall that in Texas you could walk into Target or Staples or any store of that I'll and find yourself in the midst of plenty of lovely writing paper and fine writing implements, delightful to the senses. In Ohio I've found no stationery so far, but everyone wants to sell me journals, scads of them. From which I can only deduce that the good citizens of Ohio want to write, but only about themselves? I'm making another foray tomorrow, to a Barnes and Noble in an expensive part of Columbus. Eons ago, when I worked at a Barnes and Noble in L.A., we used to be heavily stocked with stationery. If I strike out there, I'll just resort to snitching my dad's printer paper, I guess.

I used to be a great letter writer back in the day. By "great" I mean "prolific", not "talented". Darwin and I used to send each other tomes of agonized love, rich with all the cliches of the genre. I believe I fancied myself a great stylist. Upon sorting out our closet preparatory to the move, I found a box (a shoe box!) full of this old correspondence. As I paged through his letters and mine, I felt a sensation akin to that of the unfortunates subjected to the Total Perspective Vortex. Passages that once seemed so eloquent and incendiary now paraded with all the grace of a herd of hormonal elephants . The most engaging bits were the parts I tossed off as stupid filler: minutiae about family life or the weather or work. The most fascinating letter of all was one Darwin sent me from Greece, simply describing the place and his travels there. And I burned with shame to recall that at the time I'd sulked because I thought he didn't write enough about ME.

I've got a long way to go before I can even compete in the humility stakes with the big dogs like St. Isaac Jogues, but I guess it's a consolation that at least I still have a whole hand to write with. As I keep telling myself, things could definitely be worse.


BettyDuffy said...

What a fun post. I've missed your voice, Mrs. D.

John Henry said...

Great post, Cat. In posts, as in letters, sometimes the best ones are the ones we don't expect.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

I was looking for stationery at Target just last week and very disappointed to find none at all. Only rows of cards and invitations. What is the world coming to? I suppose no one writes anymore. Not that I've been doing my bit to keep the stationery market afloat in recent years.

Emily J. said...

Once before moving a few years ago, we went through a box of college love letters, read them together, and threw out all the really angst ridden ones. We might have polished our image, but I'm sorry we did it all the same. Why did I keep that T-shirt from 1993 but not that letter?

Edward Shuman said...

You might find something helpful here:

You might check Joseph-Beth Booksellers, also; last time I checked the one where I live had some stationery.

mrsdarwin said...

Emily, we didn't toss any of 'em, but I do make sure they're kept on a high shelf out of reach or notice of the very young. Some of the content is.. inappropriate for children, though now that content seems merely torrid and not spicy.

(Word verification: prole. Indeed.)

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

Other stationery sources include Crane's (800.268.2281, and Levenger (800-667-8034, Obviously, you have to wait and pay for shipping, but you ought at least to be able to get what you want.