Monday, June 4, 2007

The Pen Is Mightier.

People underestimate the power of the written word. Take an introductory English course, and you’ll hear every writing-related cliché in the book. Even Sean Connery (or Alex Trebec, rather) of Celebrity Jeopardy fame attests to the power of the pen. What most men forget when gift-shopping for their significant others is that it's not always about the amount swiped away from their CitiBank rewards accounts. If they just realized that a well-written card oft speaks legions more than flowers or dare I say it, chocolate would, maybe there would be more couples in the world. Regrettably, cards have become an afterthought.

My family is guilty of this. On occasion, I'll receive a couple of hastily scribbled lines, usually reiterating the words already printed inside the card. In place of the Happy Holidays already emblazoned on the inside, a relative will write a very enthusiastic "Merry Christmas!! Love, the Kim family," double exclamation point for added emphasis. Or my personal favorite, an entirely blank card not even adorned with a signature - yet another addition to the ongoing Christmas card stash. The art of card writing has become homogenized into two liners, much akin to the HAGS! and K.I.T! of yearbookdom.

And then there are the repeat offenders. While I may over time receive a sprinkling of cards from my parents and certain relatives, my brother has never put pen to paper, at least not for me. Following our childhood years when we would fight tooth and nail (more nail than tooth) and kick each other from the top of the staircase, my brother and I have since abided by an unspoken hands-off policy - possibly a twisted manifestation of the concept of truce. Dating back to as long as I can remember, we have hugged exactly twice. And so, it was a complete shock when in addition to a simple, sophisticated wallet, I saw what suspiciously resembled an envelope. As I ran the paper through my fingers, it occurred to me that this was not a mere slip of receipt paper. I felt cardstock, folded cardstock. And as I gingerly tore open the envelope to examine its contents, inside was.. well, I’ll let the words do the talking:

To Erika,

Happy Birthday! You have officially reached a new milestone: OLD. Time to hit the "she-jeep."*

Your brother,

Yes, Mr. Connery, the pen is indeed mightier.

* Translates to 'marry' in Korean.

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