Last Feature Friday of 2010: Pen Pals

Last Feature Friday of 2010: Pen Pals

I’ve been away, if you hadn’t noticed. 🙂  But never fear, I’m back and a little rested.  You wouldn’t believe how busy busy busy I’ve been.  Well, maybe you would.

Anywho, I type to you today from Wilmington, Delaware.  I’m here for my pen pal’s wedding.  🙂

I’ve had a few pen pals in my life–one from elementary when we did that pen pal exchange program and one I gained from keeping in touch with a classmate who moved away.  Then, I had one (Lakeitha) with whom I became very close with at a summer program at Alcorn, and we wrote to keep in touch through college. (We still keep in touch, but not quite as much as we had.)  Since 2005, I’ve been writing my soror Erika.  We’ve never met in person, although we almost did in 2008.  We met on the national AKA listserv during a discussion about pen pals, were alike in many ways, and decided to cease all other forms of communications and become pen pals.

It might sound weird to some, but we’ve chronicled our lives over the last 5 years and have really become connected.  Hey, I even have the letter when she wrote about meeting her groom. 🙂  (If I had have been thinking and not packing at the last minute, I would have brought it with me.  But alas…) I’m so happy to be a part of her special day, after having traded dating war stories with her over the years.  Erika is soooooooo sweet–just as sweet in person as she is on paper.

I’ve never been to Delaware (or to Philly), so this is really a trip of adventure.  Yesterday, we did the wedding rehearsal (I’m doing a biblical reading), and then had some yummo grub at a Jamaican restaurant in downtown Wilmington for the rehearsal dinner.  It’s been great meeting everyone she’s written about in her letters. 🙂  Today, we’re running some last minute wedding errands, and I get to see more of Wilmington (and eat at Erika’s fave restaurant Borders Cafe).

If you’ve never had a pen pal, consider getting one.  There’s just something special about getting regular old-fashioned letters and being able to really say how you feel without worry of being interrupted and knowing that you’ll get a well-thought out response–along with sharing.  Sometimes, in friendships, one person becomes the unloader and the other becomes the listener, creating an imbalance that’s hard to reverse.  But with the pen pal, it’s so easy to just pick up a piece of stationary paper (or regular ole lined paper) and write away about whatever is going on with you (positive, negative, no consequence–just whatever is on your mind).  And you can pretty much count on your pal to do the same.

Tomorrow, my pen pal gets married. 🙂  I feel blessed to bring in the new year in a new place with a new yet not new dear friend.  I’ll be on when I can to do some other 2010 and Kwanzaa reflections, but until then, happy new year!  Many blessings!

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