Time for the third installment of our four part blog series celebrating friendships forged through the IGGPPC! Today we meet two international pen pals who found each other quite recently, but have already developed an incredibly strong bond.
It’s IGGPPC’s birth month, and what better way to celebrate the club’s second birthday than by featuring stories about friendships that have formed via our lovely club? Once a week, we’ll post an interview with a pair of pen pals, who will share their stories of snail mail and international adventure. To read last week’s Tale of Two Pen Pals featuring Lisa and Nancy, click here.
How did the two of you first get in touch?
Rosa: We don’t go that far back, actually. Meg was my secret Santa, and she sent me a lovely package, choosing to be the not-so-very-secret kind of secret Santa; she wrote her return address, and the card said I was more than welcome to write her again – and so I did!
Meg: She’s got the basics down! I got her information for the secret Santa swap and was absolutely thrilled and terrified at the same time. I had never done a swap before and I wanted to make sure I had gotten everything JUST RIGHT. I sent her some jam that I had canned over the summer, a pair of silly socks that I’m pretty sure had Reindeer on them, and other small kick-knacks from the stocking stuffer section at Target. I also put some postcards in there featuring landmarks from Marquette on a whim.
Rosa: And I could really tell from the present that Meg had put a lot of thought into it! I mean, homemade jam? It was such a sweet thing to send! And it tasted delicious, by the way!
What led to you becoming friends?
Rosa: After she sent me the santa-package, and I sent her a thank you note, she wrote me a real letter. And it was the most wonderful letter; Meg was so bright and positive and fun, even in writing, and I just knew we would make good friends – which I told her (because I’m a firm believer that you always should, if you feel this way). It’s amazing how these Iggle-friendships can just skip all the normal stages of friendship. You go straight from Oh hello New Friend to the I-feel-like-I’ve-known-you-forever-and-would-trust-you-with-anything stage; when I talk to Meg I cannot believe I’ve only known about her existence for a few months!
Meg: I wrote her a LONG letter. My handwriting is incredibly tiny, so in normal person handwriting it’s probably about four pages. And much to my delight, she sent back this beautifully written letter on bright yellow paper in a freakin’ Game of Thrones themed envelope. I made an unnaturally high pitched noise when I opened my letterbox and saw it. As I read it I just marveled at this friendship I had found with someone thousands of miles away. I think part of what makes the friendships on IGGPPC so easy is the amount of love you put into each letter and package. I spend hours writing letters to amazing women I have never met before and I can’t even begin to tell you how I labored over putting together the perfect package for Rosa’s Christmas present. And that love is sent back to you, often tenfold. It’s such a unique friendship and it’s so different from the friendships I have formed with people I see and text every day.
What is your favorite piece of mail that you’ve received from each other?
Rosa: I love that first real letter she sent, because I just instantly knew that I’d found a new friend. It also arrived when I was down with the flu, but I almost forgot that when I read it, haha. You know what they say; Iggle-letters are the best medicine!
Meg: In her last letter she included this little Kiki K card that HAD A CAT ON IT. This woman knows how to speak to me on a deep and personal level. The Kiki K cat now lives on my chalkboard.
How frequently are you in contact? Do you keep in touch in other ways, besides via snail mail?
Rosa: Besides the letters, we chat on Twitter, and in the comment-section of our blogs. A couple of days ago we decided to give Skype a go, so we could talk about our answers for this post – we ended up talking for hours about all sorts of random things; upcoming movies, what books we were reading, how there are too many coins in the American currency, dreadlocks, superheroes, comic books, what Brienne of Tarth’s favorite movie would be, future plans, wildlife in America…
Meg: (Abundant. I told her a story about how a friend of mine hit a freakin’ bear with her car.)
Rosa: …versus Denmark (non-existent), and more than anything, we laughed. There was maybe two minutes of awkwardness at first, but that went away as soon as we started talking.
Meg: We tweet a lot. It started off as a way to give each other a head’s up that a letter was on the way, but now we twitter (is that the right verb?) a lot. We did just start Skype which was like she said, two minutes of uncertainty in terms of where we should start, but once we got onto Game of Thrones everything just became so easy. We spent like, two hours just talking and laughing about whatever came to mind. My husband Nathan even got in on our conversation at some points.
What are your top five geek loves of the moment?
Meg: Game of Thrones, Cross Stitching, Sailor Moon, Comic Books, and as always Harry Potter.
Rosa: A Song of Ice and Fire, Harry Potter, Kingkiller Chronicle, Mythology/Folklore and Gingerbread building.
Do you have any geek love(s) or fandom(s) you bond over?
Rosa: We both love Harry Potter and Meg loves Game of Thrones, whereas I’m obsessed with the book-versions; despite the differences between the two, we can still bond over that. Since we haven’t actually been pen pals for very long, I’m sure there are lots of other things, we just haven’t found out about yet. I’m excited to find out what those things are! Aren’t you, Meg? 🙂
Meg: We both love GoT, I’ve seen all the TV episodes and she’s read all the books and we actually spent an hour on Skype talking about who we thought Jon Snow’s true parents were. It was riveting. And I am very excited to see what we geek out over together in the future.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Meg: Rosa is super rad. I’m very happy to have met her. 🙂
Rosa: Same! Thank you to whoever of the Swap Masters that randomly paired us 🙂
Thank you to Meg and Rosa for sharing their awesome tale of pen pal bonding with us!! Do you have a story you’d like to tell about new friends you’ve found via our club? Or perhaps you have some great pictures of epic snail mail sent to you by your iggle pen pals. Contact Ninja Kara via email to find out how to be featured along with our interview posts later this month!