Mail Call!

Welcome, Rememberers of the Time and totally not-creepy onlookers! This is the time of year when I look forward to checking my mailbox each day because there’s something fun about opening it up and seeing hand-addressed Christmas cards and packages, so this week for RTT, the mail is our theme. Have at it!

Hold on! Hold on! There’s more!

In the spirit of holiday mayhem, I wanted to give you all a little heads up about the coming weeks. As Kelly and I value our sanity and plan on making sweet love to eggnog and gingerbread the week of Christmas (DON’T JUDGE, YO.), we will be taking a break from RTT for the week of Dec. 22nd. That means that next week (Dec. 15-21) will effectively be Christmas week for RTT. And what better way to celebrate the holidays than to have an awkward party!

In lieu of posts, please send us your old holiday pictures by this Sunday, Dec. 15th at midnight EST. Here’s the kind of thing we’re looking for:

Emily&Santa edit

Kelly and I will lay them all out nice in a Very Merry RTT Holiday Post with links back to your site. And the more the merrier! Even if you have never participated in RTT before, we still would love for you to send us your pictures, because that’s the kind of gracious hostesses that we are. Just make sure they have an element of nostalgia to them.

Please send your picture and a link to your blog to thewaitingblog at gmail dot com or to The Waiting’s Facebook page.

Now, onto the mail.

It’s easy to get nostalgic about that little box at the front of your house. (That’s what she said? Am I doing it right?) It wasn’t that long ago that it was more than a little depository for coupons I’ll never use and bills for things I really don’t want to still be paying for. Student loans, for instance. I have been out of  school for so long that it is kind of a slap in the face that I am still paying for math classes that I took in 2002 and novels whose plots have now been replaced in my mind with the lyrics to Gangnam Style.

But even today, when I approach our mailbox with C and peer inside to see what the magical mail fairies have sent me, I still have a lingering glimmer of excitement left over from when I was a kid and watching the mail for something specifically for me.

Since my last few RTT posts have been on the heavier side and I do not want to break the cycle of Very Serious Posts, today I thought I would talk a little about some of the things I regularly got in the mail when I was a kid. Obviously, nothing in the world has more gravity than the correspondence of tween girls. This is my poor attempt at sarcasm, and that fact that I just felt the need to explain that likely means I should take a nap. hfjhgjdhgjkhgjdsk

Things You Would Have Found Addressed to Twelve-Year-Old Me

(A Highly Serious List)

1. Letters From My Pen Pal

I had a pen pal named Julie when I was a kid. The budding blogger in me really liked the idea of writing about my life to a total stranger, so I signed up to be paired with another girl through an ad in a Christian girl’s magazine someone gave me. Julie lived in Florida and 90% of our letters were about how jealous I was that she lived in a state where Sea Worlds were on every corner and what it was like to be personal friends with dolphins.

Sometimes I think about looking Julie up on Facebook, but that would probably make me the most creeptastic person on the planet. I feel icky enough looking up former boyfriends.

2. Seventeen Magazine

Can I go ahead and just BE MSCL-era Claire Danes? Source: Hearst Publishing

Can I go ahead and just be MSCL-era Claire Danes? Kthnxbye. Source: Hearst Publishing

I had a subscription to Seventeen from the time I was in sixth grade until I was probably about fifteen, and every month I loved going to the mailbox to get the latest issue. I would read it cover-to-cover multiple times because the Internet didn’t really exist back then and we had to find ways to keep ourselves entertained that didn’t involve learning or being physically active. It was a hard challenge but I was up to it. I loved Seventeen but I refuse to read it now because I fear that 90% of its articles will speak in text jargon and that I will be admonished for not YOLOing enough.

3. The Get Him System

get himIn the back of Seventeen, there were lots of ads for things that don’t exist in real life such as cellulite reducers (what teenager has cellulite?) and fat camps where the attendees actually appear to have a good time. There was also an ad for this book called The Get Him System, and it promised that if you mailed in $15 to some PO box in Minnesota, you would get a book that would teach you how to finally get a boyfriend. And, I assume, some self-esteem too. I mailed in my cash that I wrapped in a piece of paper and what seemed like nine years later, the book finally came. It felt so long because I was ashamed to have ordered it, so  I never told anyone and had to check the mail every day to make sure that my parents weren’t onto my plan to Get Him.

The day the book came, I raced up to my room and started reading it like it was porn. I didn’t get a boyfriend thanks to The Get Him System, but I did get a solid, fairly clinical explanation of oral sex that didn’t include barfy personal accounts of any of my friends’ older siblings, so it wasn’t a total loss, I guess.

So now you know what was in my mailbox when I was twelve. Go forth and be edified by this truly wonderful writing I have just gifted you with.

Link up with us! Here’s how to do it:

1. Write your post. Remember, it can be ANYTHING about the mail. We always want you to take liberties with these prompts! They are never hard and fast. Interpret them as you will; we love seeing how they can be explored. Just stick with the whole “back in the day” vibe ;D

2. Grab the badge and place it at the bottom of your post.

Remember the Time Blog Hop

3. Add your link below and come back to see all the other great posts your blogging pals have written! Comment on them and tweet and share your favorites using the hashtag #RTTbloghop. The link-up closes at midnight EST next Wednesday, so get your link in before then.


  1. I love that you did a mail related blog! If it wasn’t for my anal blogging schedule I’d so want to participate :-P

      1. Next year I think I’m going to have “Miscellaneous Mondays” so I can jump on bandwagons when moments like this happen…

  2. Girl, I have already been making love to egg nog for weeks. Weeks. I’ve had to give a fake name at Starbucks because it’s almost embarrassing how many egg nog lattes I’ve ordered, and I at least want to TRY to cover up the fact that I’m cheating on my husband with the decadent holiday drink.

    ALSO, before my husband so cleverly reminded me about our international correspondence, I had also started drafting my post about Seventeen Magazine. So I obviously found this post to be brilliant.

    1. Is it just me or did Seventeen used to be so much better? I distinctly remember a full cover story on Bjork back in my day. She seems too weird for them now.

      1. I will be honest in saying I have not seen a Seventeen Magazine since probably 1999. But I’m sure my daughter will be reading it soon enough. Gag. I’m going to be old enough to have a kid reading Seventeen Magazine.

  3. You’re telling me that “Get Him” did not help you find a boyfriend? It’s a shame that blogs weren’t a thing back then, because you could have really unloaded on the writers.

    1. Dude, I totally know. I ought to seek them all out and let them have it now. I think being angry is what the Internet is for.

      1. Anger…and porn

  4. I can definitely tell here that the Get Him system did its job! Oral sex to eggnog – now that’s one we’ve not yet tried….and I was thinking there was nothing left. See, you can teach an old dog a new trick! Thank you so much for enlightening me while totally destroying my squeaky clean mommy vision of you.

    1. My pleasure! There’s a lot to me, Rob ;D

  5. Emily, when I was growing up in San Francisco, I was always very eager to sit on Santa’s lap at a department store called the Emporium. That store gave kids the best tasting peppermint taffy ever. Looking back it was probably completely artificial and dusted with DDT. Even though my mom had 5 or 6 years of photos of me peppermint taffy-whoring the stuffed guy in a fake white beard and red suit, they were taken so long ago they’re probably buried deep in a landfill today. When I moved to New York in 1982, I only took a few family photos and a picture of my pooch, Mean Streak. The Santa photos, probably shot by Matthew Brady, didn’t make it into my suitcase.

    1. Oh no! Well, at least you have a good excuse ;D So far the only pictures that will be at our party will be mine and Kelly’s. No worries, though. More eggnog for us.

  6. I LOVED seventeen! And, I can’t believe that you ordered that book!! I’m dying to know what it said. The cover looks amazing. Does email count? Hmmm….have to think about this one. :) I wish I could send you home videos of my Christmas mornings. The perms and heavy TX accents, along with the arguing is so entertaining!

    1. Do you remember this book too? Please tell me you do so I can commiserate with someone over the utter nonsense of teenagehood purchases ;D Email counts; in fact, I almost chose it as the subject of my post.

      Please send us a Christmas picture if you have one! So far only Kelly and I will have pictures up and we need other people.

      1. I need to go hunting for Christmas Pictures. The problem is I don’t have a scanner, so it might be a picture of a picture which I can SOMETIMES pull off. The one I’m thinking of involves coordinating outfits and very bad haircuts. :)
        And, no I don’t know that book, but please tell me what it said!!

  7. The Get Him system? HA! Where was this when I desperately needed it? You know, I had a pen pal from Sri Lanka, and I was so disappointed when I got here because I had no idea what/where that country was. She sent me some ugly barrettes, and I got sick of her. I may have been the first penemy.

    1. I didn’t even know that word existed. Day made.

  8. I totally remember that ad.
    Wow. Brings me back!

    1. Please tell me you ordered it too. Please.

      1. I was a cheapskate back then, too, sorry.
        I just had to read between the lines of all those Seventeen quizzes I kept failing.

  9. I had seventeen magazine and a pen pal! See, we are sisters… clearly I’m the older one! My pen pal was in England, and (get this) I found her name and address on a message in a bottle, that I found washed up on the beach! For real. It would be a post, if I could remember much more about it. ;-)

    As for eggnog… we have a killer machine at home for lattes, and a local dairy makes homemade eggnog that is sold at our grocery store. Need I say more?

    I miss you on my posts… I admit it. I know you’re warn thin, but I miss your responses to comments and your comments on posts… you need a personal assistant! For realsy.

    1. Oh Dawn. don’t I know it ;D The Bloggess has a personal assistant, I hear, and her blog is about 5675673657653873 times bigger than mine, so I really have no excuse for my absenteeism. It seems like these days, blogging burnout is always just around the corner for me, and I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit in the next couple weeks so I can come back in January reenergized. I will of course pop by your blog. It’s one of my favorites (as are you), and I always feel so filled up after reading your work.

      1. Moderation and balance my dear… having been a mom who burned out and took on way too much, I am here to say: take it easy! It’s mighty hard to keep all the balls in the air! I miss you, but I also hope you can find some breathing room and enjoy this. Part of what I love is the connection with other bloggers… that’s what I was saying; that’s what I miss. xo

  10. There are so many things to love here. SO MANY.

    I also had a pen pal. She lived in California and we were TOTALLY BFFs for many many years – probably fifth grade to senior year? Until I went off to college and became terrible at correspondence, and she had a very generic name and I lost touch with her and could never find her again. She was awesome. Things were so much more difficult pre-email, weren’t they? (I also had random other pen pals. I loved mail. I had one in England and one in Ireland and a few around New York state that I’d met at summer camp.)

    I didn’t get Seventeen, only because my mom thought it was MUCH TOO RACY! So I would read it in the library every month. My friends and I would take the quizzes and read that thing until it was a tatter. Good times.

    I totally want the Get Him system. I thought I was well-schooled enough on the mouth-lovin’, but somehow, that didn’t help me Get! Him! so I’m obviously doing it wrong and will need a manual.

    I just sent you the best photo ever. You’re going to giggle.

  11. I STILL get excited over eBay purchases that come in the mail. How sad is that? And you didn’t mention the excitement of opening up the Newstand app on a rainy Monday morning and seeing the new edition of all your subscriptions come in.

    How sad is that. :-)

  12. I loved Seventeen! I also get excited about personal mail. These days, it’s getting to be a lost art form although I hazard to guess that most people probably love getting it. Sadly, I’m noticing even Christmas cards are becoming obsolete. Not quite yet but I certainly don’t get as many as I used to.

  13. I have not a single photo of myself with Santa. I may have one in a raggedy old housecoat on Christmas morning, though.

  14. The Get Him System must have passed me completely…not that I’m the target demo. Sounds like a good thought for people trying to scam kids. A shame it didn’t work.

    I wish I had seen this RTT. I used to be obsessed with getting mail because I was always writing letters to professional athletes and got plenty of responses.

  15. I also ordered The Get Him System….we really are kindred spirits. Needless to say, I also did not get him, but I did learn about bjs!

  16. […] The Waiting: Anything by Pearl Jam due to an Eddie Vedder crush, so I chose “Even […]

  17. Haha I don’t think I ever had $15 when I was twelve but it sounds like that little “Get Him” system would have worked wonders for my love life. All this time, the solution was just waiting in the back of those magazines I wasn’t really allowed to read…

  18. The Get Him System is amazing. I can’t believe I’m discovering this book so late in life. I always loved Seventeen…still do actually. I remember one time they had an article about genital warts or something and it had pictures. The next day at school, I saw a couple of those issues floating around. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one fascinated by it?

  19. Emily,
    Your recent comments touched my heart and your work here always makes me smile. I hope you have someone to make you feel special, my friend. You deserve it.

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