I don't generally cluck my tongue over the advent of technology, and its role in our society. Technology has done a lot for me, for all of us, and it's here to stay whether we like it or not. That said, I do also acknowledge and lament some analog things that are becoming lost and/or a lost art, some of which are outlined in this article, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
A partial list of the points that I particularly enjoyed, with commentary:
- Handwritten notes. This is something I'm always striving to be better at. I was raised to write thank you notes, and while I still do it as an adult, I am always sloooooow to get to the handwritten ones. I am fortunate to have a few friends who regularly send snail mail, and it never, ever fails to brighten my day when I spot something with familiar handwriting in my mail box.
- Parlor games. I do find that generally people are almost always amenable to games, it's just that we don't think to play them as often as we once might have. It always makes me think of the scene in Fred's living room in a Christmas Carol where Ebeneezer finds out how people really feel about him via a parlo(u)r game - my, how times have changed. Now Ebeneezer would probably be reading texts over Fred's shoulder. Also fine, but the parlo(u)r game makes for a more charming scene.
- Children with old school manners. I was a very shy kid. My parents accepted this and understood it, but insisted that I still needed to step forward, say hello and nice to meet you, and shake hands. Then I could go back to hiding behind my mom's legs. As I got older, I was always baffled by adults who wouldn't shake my hand. I often offered my hand first, and remember the looks of surprise on so many adult faces. A strong handshake is important to me and I have a soft spot for kids who will shake my hand (I don't begrudge kids who don't have strong handshakes, to be clear). I have a soft spot for my friends' kids who, even as teenagers, still call me Miss Caitlin, and say yes, ma'am, no, ma'am, no matter how much I insist it isn't necessary.
- Being a gracious guest and a gracious host. In our home the number one rule of hosting is to never make your guests uncomfortable. The number one rule of being a guest is never show up empty-handed, and always offer to help.
- Related: I first fell for my husband in part because he showed up as a friend-of-a-friend at a last-minute BBQ at my house bearing a cheese plate, a smile, and offers to pitch in. I'm just saying, you never know what can happen if you show up armed with brie. (Aren't you glad I resisted the urge to make a pun about how it's a gouda move?) (Sorry.)