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#13 - A Baby Boomer Real Story Series about Helicopter Parents -------- by Nancy Geiger

August 9th, 2008
Snail Mail for College Kids is a Thing of the Past.

Snail Mail for College Kids is a Thing of the Past

Just a couple hours before heading back to college for her sophomore year, Brittany met up with a few friends for lunch downtown. She came back with a $20.00 parking ticket.

I thought that was really steep and felt sorry for her as she pulled out her brand new checkbook and wrote her very first check ever. To the police department. She said it would be adding insult to injury if she had to go to the station to pay it on her way out of town, so she left the check with us.

I ran into the mayor at a party a week or so later and told him I thought that was an awful lot for just a parking ticket. He said, “If it makes you feel any better I got a $20.00 ticket too that I had to pay.”

It didn’t make me feel any better and I’m not sure why he thought it would.

Oh, well, it did give me an excuse to actually send Brittany some mail: the receipt from paying the ticket.

When I was in college I wrote letters to everyone and therefore got a lot back. My freshman roommate never wrote letters, so her mailbox was always empty. One day we went to the mailroom together and I had a stack and she as usual had none.

Feeling sorry for her, I pulled the letter off the top of my pile, which happened to be from my Grandparents, and said, “Here, you can have this one.”  She opened it and it had a $5.00 bill inside! Rats!

The college kids today rarely get any mail unless you count the credit card pitches, which I don’t. Questioning a gentleman who works in the local college mailroom, he told me that the drop in mail over the years has been significant. No one feels they need it as long as they have email, IM, text messaging and unlimited cell phone minutes.

I think it’s kind of sad though. I kept all the letters my husband sent me in college and he has all that I sent him. Just for the record I sent him a lot more then he sent me! I also sent him lots of cards, letters cut up into puzzles, decorated envelopes, cartoons and newspaper articles. A friend of mine who’s son is at West Point told me that if a cadet has anything on the envelope of a letter he receives except for the address, return address and a flag stamp, (yes, it has to be a flag stamp!) he has to do pushups!

John would have had to do a lot of pushups if that rule had been in place when he was a cadet! Come to think of it, my letters may have caused the rule!

It’s still fun to stumble upon the box of letters every couple years and re-read them. I wonder what these kids will keep for memories? Won’t they eventually have to erase their text messages and delete their emails?

Hopefully they’ll at least save their love emails (see? That doesn’t even sound as good as love letters!) Maybe they can put them on a disc and put that in a decorated envelope and stick it in a box…..

Nancy Geiger and her husband are Baby Boomer empty nesters with their daughter Brittany (their only child) now a junior at college. When she left home Nancy started writing a monthly column for their local weekly paper about parenting a college student long distance. After 17 years as a travel agent for American Express, Nancy decided to commit herself to freelance writing and starting an online store, 2 blogs, a website and LOTS of volunteering! She even just published a cookbook called A Brides Cookbook or surviving the First Year.

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Article by:
Nancy Geiger

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