When I was little, I had a pen pal who lived in the exotic, far away land of New Jersey. In reality, it wasn’t that far — I lived in Pennsylvania — but it might as well as have been Fiji to a kid with no transportation options. And so I took to my pen to write carefully crafted ruminations about how lame my parents were, or how this teacher or that clearly hated me for no reason, and then I’d send it off into the universe. (The universe = our corner mailbox.) The wait for a reply was agonizing, but also amazing, because when the mailman finally delivered those long-awaited letters addressed to me and only me, it was like getting presents on Christmas day.
I feel sad when I realize that modern kids (and adults, for that matter) rarely get the opportunity for carefully considered communication anymore. Even the waiting — which sounds painful through our filter of immediate gratification — made me understand how sweet the experience of anticipation can be. The closest equivalent some of us have now is, maybe, waiting for a new device announcement or finally getting to rip open Amazon packages that we ordered five whole business days ago.
Well, maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, at least not for today’s young she-geeks. The International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club is a new project that offers a way for budding young female geeks to celebrate their interests, connect and share — over postal mail.
That’s right, snail mail. Not that they couldn’t just hit each other up on Facebook or text, but at least this way, they can send each other Android plushies, comic books, Apple stickers or anything else they geek-out over. Plus, pen pals can come from anywhere in the world, and let’s face it — not everyone is fortunate enough to have phones, computers and broadband available to them.
It’s not clear whether the group requires actually putting pen to paper or allows for typed letters, but that hasn’t deterred a thousand girls from rushing to sign up. In fact, with over a week to go before the April 1 deadline, registrations have already maxed out. But if you or someone you know is female, age 13 or older and interested in joining, keep your eyes peeled on the group’s Facebook page. The club’s creators say they’ll announce when registrations have opened up again, sometime after April 1.