Ack! The utter lack of privacy in today's world sticks in my craw. This abomination was driven home a few days ago by the #1 son, inadvertently, when discussing his 10-day sojourn at Missouri Boys State, working in the technology department.
"Were you sad I didn't write to you like when you were a citizen there?"
"Didn't I write you almost every day."
"I think so."
"Did you read them? Do you still have them?"
"I read them. Then I threw them away."
"Does anybody even send letters anymore?"
"Oh, yeah. You should have heard some of them this year."
"What do you mean?"
"You realize, don't you, that everything that gets sent to Boys State is read by the staff?"
"NO! I didn't know that! I feel so violated!"
"Well, you're stupid. It says that right on the Boys State website. That all communications are monitored. They have to. Like, what if some relative sent a citizen flyers and campaign stuff? How fair would that be? They have to make all that stuff right there, so nobody has an advantage."
"If it's a regular envelope, and they see there's no campaign stuff, they shouldn't read it."
"Yeah, right. Every year, the tech guy in charge reads some of the letters. There was one that almost made us cry. It was from some kid's little brother, saying how much he missed him. Then there was a really cool one, only a couple of sentences. Something about, 'To the bat cave.'"
"Well, I hope they enjoyed mine. They were funny, weren't they?"
"Yeah, I guess. I don't remember them. But one was really weird. You wrote it like you were a goat."
"Then it was funny! I hope everybody enjoyed reading it. I know how much you hate those goats. I thought you would appreciate how much they missed you yelling at them. And I think I wrote from everyone's point of view. Like how the chickens missed you raising your arms overhead and running at them, screaming. And how the fat black cat that lays in front of your window really didn't give a crap that you were gone. And how The Pony was well-rested, not having to fetch you sodas and electronic gewgaws from downstairs. I'm sure they got a laugh."
"Huh. I doubt it."
So much for providing him with a lasting impression of how much he means to us. I really wish I had made a copy of those letters.