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Pickle Me This

July 28, 2010

You've got to court delight

You’ve got to court delight, I think. By which I mean that things don’t just turn up in the post. You’ve got to send small gifts across the country to get a thank-you note in return, and subscribe to literary journals and magazines, and have a friend who lives in Antarctica who sends a postcard from time to time. Or rather, you have to go out of your way to buy a red teapot so that you can be a person who has a red teapot (unless you’re a particular fortunate person for whom red teapots arrive in the post).

Anyway, the point is that I received two letters in the post today upon whose envelopes my name was inscribed by hand. (And it wasn’t even that deceptively handwriting-like font that Bell Canada puts on all their envelopes when they send missives begging for the return of my custom.) Two handwritten envelopes is practically unheard of! I tore them open in a hurry and was not the least bit disappointed by what I found inside.

But let me backtrack. I joined The Barbara Pym Society earlier this year, because it seemed a strange, funny and Pymian thing to do. (I was inspired by this article.) And I also made friends with a brilliant writer/almost birdwatcher, and had her over for tea last week. As a result of these two things, I today received a lovely letter from a fellow Pym Society member who is looking for a Canadian meet-up*, and an absolutely beautiful thank you note from my birder-writer friend (who is truly as master of the form). Both of which made me exquisitely happy.

So you do have to court delight, I think. Though there’s also the point that if you wish to be perpetually delighted, just look for the pleasure of tiny, wonderful things. (Or perhaps I need to get out more…)

*Fascinatingly enough, the Pym Society member had sent me this letter unknowing that we’d corresponded in the past! Three years ago, she published a beautiful essay in The Globe, and sent me a note after I’d mentioned it on my blog. And now we find ourselves two of the very small population of Canadian Barbara Pym Society members! How marvelously tiny the world truly is…

One thought on “You've got to court delight”

  1. melanie says:

    a) I need to do something so I get more mail too & b) I need to get out more too. But I love your theory about courting delight – it rings true.

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