Saturday, May 27, 2006

Thank goodness for ebay!

The other day, I mentioned to Diana that she should send a copy of our Visitor's Guide to her exchange partner in Germany. It lists all the hiking trails, interesting community events and other cool stuff about our town. She said she doesn't know how to format the letter.

Me: "You're not writing a letter. You're just mailing her the guide."

Diana: "Yes, I know. I don't know the format for mailing that."

Me: "You mean where to put the main address, return address & stamp?"

Diana: "Yeah."

And it's true! All her correspondence is over the internet, or on the phone. She sees me sending out Christmas cards once a year, and receives birthday cards, etc. herself. But actually mailing something? Especially something that's not a regular letter? She doesn't have a clue.

Flashback 30 years to Carolyn & I at home. My mom said we could use her old typewriter. This thing was from the '50's. If you hit more than 3 or more keys at once, they'd all bunch up at the ribbon.

We had lots of paper, so we'd play boss & secretary. We'd alternate being both. The boss was usually someone in the entertainment industry. An agent, or something like that. We wanted to make up interesting people to write to (and have write back).

First, there would be the applicants for the secretary job. This took the whole morning. The eventual secretary would have to play out all of the applicants, of course. And she'd have to have just one be acceptable, so she'd have to play really awful applicants for the rest - some went as far as writing for the gender question, Sex: M or F - "No way!! Are you kidding? I'm a Virgo!!" (keep in mind, we had to type up all the applications - altho we had some carbon paper, which was what started the whole game in the first place).

Once the boss hired the secretary, she would dictate while the secretary wrote "shorthand" notes. Then the boss would have to wait while the secretary typed the original letter, plus the responses from the movie & TV stars. The boss would usually go and make lunch for herself and the secretary (altho we pretended it was going to a restaurant). Neither Carolyn or I were very good typists at ages 11 and 13.

Being the people we are, we'd usually do our best to crack each other up with the responses from the stars. But hey, we did know how to address an envelope!! And my mom was probably thinking that typewriter was the best toy she'd ever found stashed in the back of her closet.

We also used to play Store. I wanted to learn to make change, so we cut up little circles for change, and made bills. And then we used the carbon paper again to make checkbooks - they didn't have any registers, heh. And everything in our rooms had pricetags on them, for the next time we played.

Our kids today? Well, they sure can type a lot faster. And they don't even have to make up people to answer their questions! Diana was impressed with a typewriter we had, because it printed as you went. But she didn't have a sister to play boss & secretary. Trevor is not up for something like that :)

I guess I'll have to take her on a tour of the Post Office so she can learn how to pack & address a large size envelope or package. I still need to mail Carolyn her Lemon Coolers (whoops - sorry! I haven't seen your check yet...). At least we still have Post Office stations around town we can use. Ebay will keep that alive for at least this decade, ya think?

1 comment:

keeka said...

oops sorry sistol! I will get that out asap. But my goodness I haven't thought about the Boss/secretary scenario forever! I do remember...let's see, Robin Gibb answering a letter and Maurice too, complete with accents and all! Hee hee, what a flashback!