A Penpal Evolution
I’ve been told that the term “Social Butterfly” is too tame for me. I like to talk, and meet new people, and learn about different cultures. My Aunt and Uncle had a South Korean exchange student recently and the first time that I met her I had taken the time to learn how to say hello and goodbye, and a few other words, in Korean. It was fun and she had a smile on her face afterwords. Back in 2007, sitting in my college dorm waiting for the inevitable call from my roommate saying that she wanted food, (a different slightly hilarious story,) I remembered back in elementary school when we were able to get penpals if we wanted. I decided that I wanted penpals, and not just any penpals, Snail Mail penpals! I scoured the internet for hours, making sure that I wasn’t stumbling on to spam websites. I now wish that I would have bookmarked the sites, because there are some really good, free, sites out there with others looking for new penpal friends.
Fast forward almost four years later and I am still in contact with one my penpals, from England. We wrote long letters to each other in different colored pens, making it a game, and sending silly pictures of ourselves. Then by random chance we found each other on Facebook. It made it easier for us to let each other know that her letter was going to be delayed due to a postal strike, or that she was going to Italy, and that I was moving out of the dorms so my letter was going to be late. Then we kept in contact more on the internet than through paper. We exchanged emails and our letter productivity tripled in a month, and we were able to discover different things that we both enjoyed from each other’s country, (“Never Mind the Buzzcocks”, “The Friday Night Project”, “Fraiser”, Josh Groban’s comedic wit.) Plans of visiting each other some day in the future were brought to life, and the different activities we could do. For her coming to the States we were going to go to a Con and go “Doctor Hunting” (much like I did at Gen Con.) The ideas of a “Brit care package” and “Yank care package” were conceived here, sending things that the other doesn’t have direct access too.
One day I mentioned that I was bored at home and that I was finally going to put the webcam on my iMac to use and probably record something stupid. It was indeed. But then that inspired her to record a video for me, giving me a small tour of her house, which then inspired me to take a video tour of my house for her. I have a feeling that taking videos for each other will probably continue, and I’m stumped as to what the next penpal evolution step could be, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ve found a really great friend that I can depend on, even though she from the other side of the pond. I have been upgraded to “International Social Butterfly.”