With Christmas nearly upon us I suppose it will soon be open season for the Round Robin letter-writers, in fact I have already received my first! I used to get quite a few (I suppose being an expat your friends tend to be more widely dispersed) and while I don't get as many as I used to I still hate the bloody things. I don't know why really, but I sense it is because I just got so sick of all the perfect friends, with the perfect spouses and the perfect kids who excel at everything. You know the kind "oh Hyacinth and Hortense are just coming along screamingly with their viola lessons, and Cuthbert's percussion teacher says he is a natural". Now don't get me wrong, I understand that if you want to send out a lot of letters to friends and family (particularly at Christmas), in this day and age it is probably a lot easier to write a basic text about what you and your family have been up to, but for goodness sake at least make some attempt to personalize it a bit. One bland, bog-standard Round Robin letter about the perfect achievements of the perfect family just about does my head in. I mean, am I the only one who doesn't have perfect kids who excel at everything they do? I sincerely hope not. I love em to bits anyway but they are normal not over-achieving spawn! In fact, I'm sure most of the kids mentioned in these letters are also happily far from perfect, it's just that the letter-writer feels somehow obliged to blow all their achievements up beyond recognition.
And as for the perfect spouse with the perfect job - well I guess I should just roll over and concede defeat on that one right away. Anyone who has read any of my previous posts knows where I stand on the "perfect spouse" bit - yeah, you got me - he was about as much use as a chocolate teapot but far less interesting.
Maybe these letters don't bother other people, or maybe you don't all have perfect (long-distance) acquaintances like I do (you know, the ones you rarely see so you have no way of telling if Hyacinth really knows her viola from a hole in the ground), but just a little cri du coeur - for goodness sake personalize it so that the recipient at least knows you have given them some thought.
And on that note, Mrs. Bah-Humbug here will get off her high horse and get back to contemplating Christmas with her less-than-perfect kids!
Your post made me laugh :) I did those letter for a few years, when my kids were little, but mostly they were done in fun and I tried to make them fun to read. Like the Christmas when DD had just turned 3 and still wouldn't potty train but she could sit with her brother's Nintendo and get Princess Peach all the way to the castle by herself! I have a friend (co-worker from years ago) who still sends one out every year - and it's just like you say...oh so perfect in every way. Every year the picture is from one of their (monthly) big vacations, blah blah, puke.....Seems with everyone updating their lives on Facebook so much now, that these letters are kind of a thing of the past now. I don't even send out Christmas cards anymore.ReplyDelete
Well I'm glad you took it as funny - I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone. I think it's just that the people that were sending these letters weren't really friends, more acquaintances, so all I got was "perfection, perfection, perfection" and the ubiquitous Christmas photo. With my friends of course it was different - we knew each other "warts and all" and liked it better that way. And you're probably right, Facebook has taken over from the Round Robin in the "perfection" stakes. Cheers. AnnaReplyDelete
The trouble I had with Round Robins was that they were sent to a wide circle of friends, most of whom I didn't know and hadn't even met. So most of the contents were gibberish to me and there was nothing personal about them at all. In fact I gave up on them and stopped answering - and felt a huge relief. Because I hadn't answered, they never came again. I often wondered if they assumed I'd died - but there was never any attempt to find out.ReplyDelete