Alongside the demise of newspapers comes the demise of sending newspaper clippings. Back in the day when newspapers were read instead of scrolled through, articles were often cut out and sent across miles to loved ones. Back in the day when newspapers were staffed with local talent, a mother in say Atlanta, might send a newspaper clipping to a daughter in say Michigan, sharing a bit of local color, reaching out to say, “Here, I thought this might make you laugh.” Or, “What do you think of this!”
But in today’s online world, scissors and gem clips are irrelevant. One keystroke is all it takes to share. Yet still I clip. Halfway through an article I think my son or daughter may like I’m up and across the room to get the scissors. I cut carefully around the edges, imagining each click and union of scissor blades bringing us a touch closer. Will the one on jobs irritate? Will the one on Jews in Montana already have been received, read and deleted before I even find a stamp? Still I cut and send.
It would be easy to send hyperlinks to the article about the subway photographers my daughter and I saw last summer. They said they worked for the MTA and were photographing riders for subway yearbook. Turns out, I now read, those two cute guys “from NYU” are instigators for Improv Everywhere.
A front page article profiled 94-year old Carmen Herrera, a Cuban born artist who, after six decades of “very private painting,” sold her first work at 89. Will this article dismay my daughter — Oy! six decades in obscurity? Or will she see the other side? I send this because I want her to know that the creative spirit is ageless; she can look forward to years of painting, photographing and sketching.
What about the article on becoming a manager? Or the interview with Jeffrey Swartz, spirited president and C.E.O of Timberland Company? Both kids might enjoy those. Who gets which? Should I even bother? So much easier just to send a hyperlink. They can peruse and delete at will.
But still I clip and send. Because it’s less about the articles and more about connecting, letting my grown up kids know I’m thinking about them. In the sending of these articles I hope add to their world, even if that world is changing faster than the time it takes to hit “Send.”
I’m with you! I’m sort of the hybrid who does some of both, though… If I read it online, I forward the URL, but if I read it in hard copy, I’m snipping and mailing it just as you are! I still relish opening a piece of mail that’s personal, and as that event has become ever more rare, I cherish it all the more.
My mom used to send me articles of alarm, e.g., “Tuna Recalled in Health Scare”, or “Women’s Safety Driving at Night.” Overall I’d say her favorite topic, well ahead of how I could poison myself by eating tainted foods or how I could end up dead in a ditch late at night, was the danger of the IUD. Or rather, “The Danger of the IUD!” She loved me. She proved it with every snip of the scissors.
Thanks for reminding me– I think I’ll blog about this for tomorrow!
P.S. I sure hope your kids love getting these gems from you! (Sure hope mine do, too.)
It’s true, there has been a time or two where I might groan at yet another clipping telling me not to be late to an interview and to always follow up with a thank you..But I would be a sad person indeed to no longer receive those articles. Each one, adorned with my father’s large untidy scrawl and my mothers tight cramped letters telling one another to SAVE this little piece news, just tells me “we love you!” And it doesn’t hurt to have a mini NYTimes tailored to my interests. 😉
So thanks momma 🙂 and keep ’em coming!!
Emma and Leah, So glad you enjoyed the post. Just found two more to send. Lady Gaga and art on NYC taxicabs!
I’m glad to learn there are other mothers that send newspaper clippings to their children! 🙂 My daughter lives in California and I live in Alabama, and whenever I read an article that makes me think of her, I have to cut it out and send it on its way to her. She may smile and shake her head, saying to herself, “Oh, Mom” or “Mom’s at it again,” but she knows I am thinking about her and “care enough to send the very best.” I don’t think she has considered her feelings yet when the articles stop coming.