A letter came through our post slot last week, and because it was face down on the floor, I could not see to whom it was addressed. I naturally thought it was for me since I have been writing letters like crazy. I confess, even though I don't expect replies, I hope for them. Writing to get replies is not my intention, at least I didn't think so until this letter arrived for my husband and not for me.
When I saw it was addressed to him from his brother, I wanted to chase after him (he had been gone for only five minutes), catch him before he got on the bus to work, and hand him the letter so he could read it. I was that excited about this letter.
I could not contain myself. Seven hours until he would return home from work. I called my husband hoping he might give me permission to open it. Maybe I could read it to you? He didn't like that idea, and honestly the better part of me didn't either. He told me to wait, but I didn't want to wait. I considered hiding in the bathroom to read it so no one would catch me, but I didn't.
I knew that my behavior was related to wanting to see my brother-in-law's handwriting. I wanted to hear his thoughts. I wanted to know why he was writing. The thought that there might be something private in this letter, and that I was told at a very early age never to open someone else's mail (was it really against the law?), kept me from opening the envelope and reading it. Besides, it would be too much work to try to disguise my slight intrusion (would my husband really believe me that his brother taped it shut), and my children would definitely catch me in the process.
There is a magic in being the first person to open a letter and I didn't want to take that away from him. So, the letter waited on the kitchen counter all day long for my husband.
When he finally did read it, I found out that his brother is writing one letter a week for one year. 52 letters in one year. And you know what, I didn't need that letter to be for me like I thought I did. I just needed to know that someone else is writing letters on a regular basis too.