Monday, November 9, 2009

Passing Notes

I have seen more than a few bloggers lament the lost art of note folding and passing. I have to admit to my own boxes of both intricately folded/crafted notes and hastily, passionately scribbled out messages from all four years of high school. Every now and then I take them out and (in a cleaning frenzy) consider parting with the pile. But, I always wind up reading them, laughing, crying, and, in the end, tucking them away for another time. I can never throw out those boxes, the crazy combination of silly gossip, hysterical storytelling, endless venting, and proclamations of love....not just yet.

Recently, I started considering how high schoolers now won't have this time capsule of notebook paper to mark their adolescence. Not that their feelings or dramas aren't out there- with social media networks, blogs, and texting there are more than enough venues, but how much is ever put on paper? I wonder if they even know what their best friend's or boyfriend's/girlfriend's handwriting looks like? I could identify who sent me a note just from they way they wrote my name on the thick triangle of folded paper stuffed in my locker grate.

My best friend's handwriting had a funky backward slant and her lettering was as skinny as she was- but to be fair, she often put "You" on the outside of a note. The notes that came from her were in the coded language we used to keep both our private thoughts and snarky comments from falling into the wrong hands. I'm fairly sure if there were Inspector Gadget self destructing messages available to us we would have used them, but lucky for me-I can still read and even understand every word of these notes twenty years later. Lucky for me, I can torment her with them...

Among the countless notes from her, from bored lab partners, from heartsick friends, from ticked off frenemies, are my very first love notes. Even with the misspellings and the small talk of a 15 year old boy (that includes stories of who passed gas in math class and ruminations about the best Pink Floyd album) they still hold some of the sweetest, most genuine things I have ever had written to me. I still feel flush when I read them and all the years and broken hearts since then can't take away from that. I love that.

In my search to find some photographs of old school folded notes, I came across some very funny "analysis" one blogger posted of his high school notes to his then girlfriend/now wife. He not only dissects one of his own, but one of hers as well - nostalgic humor at its best.


  1. what a thoughtful post. never thought about that the kids today are missing the person found in the handwriting of peers. something to think about. love your posts!!

  2. It's fascinating to observe how handwriting is almost like fingerprints...they are all so unique indeed...

  3. I think no one appreciates paper anymore. I still have all of my notes from high school as well. It's very nostalgic to look through it all.

  4. eee! love your blog, so whimsical.. and writing little notes like these.. aw :) i recently found some old notes like this and it made me very sentimental.




Related Posts with Thumbnails