Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mysterious Penpal, Possibly Retired

I am better now. I had a nap and a call with my oldest friend (the pictures of us as babies together prove it. Of course, she was tiny and adorable and I looked like I wanted to eat her.)

In non-Covid, non-panic attack news, we had a Christmas card returned to us in the mail this week. Now, I know I got the Christmas cards out late this year, but it was still 2019 when they went in the mail. Where this card was routed to in between here and Texas and back again, I'll never know. We clearly have pattern of strange mail behavior, but I suspect it wasn't the local postal carriers' fault this time.

I didn't realize that the person we sent the card to had moved. This person has moved quite frequently in the 15 or so years we have been sending them Christmas cards, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. However, when this last card came back, I looked on it with sadness and thought "I have no way of knowing how to get <<this person's>> new address."

That's because neither one of us actually knows this person.


I do know that I, as chief card sender in the family (by default since both our handwriting is bad, but
mine is slightly more legible), have been exchanging Christmas cards with this person for at least 12 years. My memory said that we originally received a card from this person, and that's how the exchange began. Over the years, this person has included several handwritten notes updating us on their whereabouts, their varying employment endeavors, breakups, educational attainments and the like.

I continued to send them Christmas cards back, including our annual Christmas letter and saying things like "hope you are well" or "Hope you are enjoying  <<insert whatever I remembered from the last Christmas card. I have a very good memory for random things like this.>> A couple of years ago, as I was writing out cards, Eric looked through them and said "Who is X?"

"You went to college with them," I replied.

"No I didn't."

"Yes you did. I know that name from K."

"You must have gone to school with them."

"No, I know they are older than me. I've never met them. I think you graduated with them."

"I have no idea who this is."

The card still went in the mail. I continue to believe I am correct, and this is an alumni from Eric's year, although how they got our address or why they started sending cards is an unknown.

This continued for several more years. Until this year.

Unable to Forward. Returned 3 solid months after Christmas.

Maybe they will send a card next year...

(Yes, we know we could probably Google search for "the answer" here, but what fun would that be??0

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