Pen Pal Status: Inactive

I know any seasoned letter writer has them; pen pals that are just no more. More often than not, the communication has just faded. It's just like the non-letter-writing world, we have friends that were and now are....just blips on Facebook now and then. I keep records of letters I send out. I have an entry in my address book for each pen pal. I have details on each of them; name and address, of course, but also little details I want to make sure I keep straight. Birthdays. Dislikes. Favorite colors. Names of spouses. Occupations. Pets.

I found myself flipping through this address book recently and noticed something that made me, well, cringe. I have more entries for pen pals that have gone away than pen pals that are still 'active.'

Inactive Pen Pals

I have said something here on Simplicity Embellished in many of my posts. I say "I always write back." And, to this day, I am proud to say that is 100% true. I have never left a letter unanswered. Never. And my unanswered pile currently stands only 4 letters tall, so it's not like I have a huge pile of unanswered correspondence.

But I wonder, how many of these inactive pen pals have gone inactive because my letter never arrived? I suppose I'll never know.

I wanted to write about this because of all the wonderful, well-written letter-writing blogs out there, I haven't seen this mentioned really. I'd like to see what other bloggers think about this topic and what you think about it. Is there anything to do? What is the etiquette here?

Part of me wants to send a note to all those inactive pen pals to just say hello. But I fear I shall not because I have a hunch some of them stopped corresponding with me because they...didn't like me. That's OK too, and it's no fun corresponding with someone you have no connection with. That said, I just want to find out if any of those 'inactives' are because a letter didn't make it to them.


The feedback all of you left below has been fantastic. I hope this entire post (and comments!) will serve as a real gem of knowledge for letter writers all around the world. Please add your two cents below if you feel the urge, I'll leave comments open on this post!

Thanks! Cole