11 September 2007

The enemy of the good

Today is Leslie's birthday and I dropped her a Happy Birthday e-mail. I'm not sure if she'll write back, which makes me sad because I don't know if her failure lately to write back is because she's just up to her ears with job and family or if we have drifted apart and I'm (as always) a little late to catch a clue.

My friends are generally well-spoken, well-written people who value what words sound like and what they mean. Which makes many of them pain-in-the-butt correspondents.

Even casual notes have to be crafted and edited and polished until they are worthy to be collected in the 27-volume edition of Leta's letters, I Can't; I Have Rehearsal, to be published by Harper Collins or maybe Hyperion in a few decades after I become a world-famous community theater actress and WATCH Adjudication Coordinator.

I'm not speaking from the moral high ground here because I'm the same way and I understand, I really do. But after two or three unanswered letters I'm no longer breathlessly anticipating witty epigrams, I'm just feeling abandoned. If e-mail had a version of wrinkled and jelly-stained, that would be fine. Misspelled and incoherent? No problem. Three unpunctuated phrases "doing fine - too busy - miss you." Great, I'll take it.

I'm reluctant to send "are we still speaking?" e-mails* because they would either go into the "answer this when I'm up to producing something worthy of Fitzgerald or Wodehouse" folder or the "stupid, needy e-mails from people I no longer care about, so delete" folder.

Guess which one insecure me thinks they're going into?

Well, anyway, Happy Birthday, Les. Miss you.

EDITED: She wrote back! And there was great rejoicing.

*Once in my life (so far) an "are we still speaking?" e-mail worked the way I hoped it would. I'm thinking of having it framed.

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