IGGPPC is all about friendship and meeting people you’d never have met in a normal, non-iggle life. That’s what I like so much about this community. You write, on a regular basis, to extraordinary people you could have never known, and you become long-distance friends. Some Iggles have developped a very strong bond and started a relationship that’s not only on paper. They became real friends. They sometimes traveled the world to meet each other IRL. That’s what we want to talk about here! Welcome to “Meet my pen pal”, where Iggles talk to Iggles about their new friends.
This article was inspired by the mini-series our beloved Buffalo did back in March 2015, which was named A Tale of Two Pen Pals. You should check it out!
I’m still waiting for new Iggles to share their adventures with me, but I had the chance to be contacted by Ann and Bree, so here is the first interview of what I hope to be a long series!
Bree and Ann have known each other for almost a year now, and immediately became friends thanks to a lucky pairing during an IGGPPC round. They both live in the US, they are adorable and enthusiastic, and for further information, I’ll let them introduce their pen pal!
Please, introduce us to your pen pal!
Ann: I joined IGGPPC on a whim last spring because my boyfriend was slated to go on a business trip and I wanted something to look forward to while he was away. A few weeks later I received an email saying that I was paired with my very own iggle. Bree and I instantly started exchanging emails from that point and we quickly bonded over our love for feline friends, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and our favorite YA books. Despite living in two very different parts of the country we also found out that we grew up in the same area, Orlando FL. Maybe this is the reason that we both share a love of all things Disney. We bonded over our favorite princesses and a seemingly endless quest to get back to the most magical place on earth. But honestly, what I like about her the most is that she fills each day with whimsy and magic of her own. Just look at her social media accounts and you’ll see her fun adventures with Duffy Bear or photographs of the sights around Salem, MA. If you are lucky enough to have her as a penpal, each letter is decorated in bright stickers or cute drawings she does herself. I feel like the iggles couldn’t have chosen a better match!
Bree: Earlier this year I joined the IGGPPC because I needed a way to connect to the world from my bed as I was having really aggressive chemo and I needed friends and cheering up. Enters Ann. Ann is a HouseGlaDOS member and the first Iggle I ever met. She is so supportive, fun and thoughtful that in less than a year she has become a part of my phone’s contacts and we text constantly! She is a fellow Disney-freak and toy lover. Her favorite toys and cartoons are from the 80’s and early 90s but she won’t turn her nose at adorable Disney Tsums or newer versions of My Little Pony. She is her own person and has a unique style which is great to see through her pictures and letters but best of all is that because of her uniqueness she never judges and lets everyone else be who they are. We have bonded over our love for cats (she has six,) books, stuffed animals, Duffy, pin-collecting, Buffy and Spike (she’s met him twice!!) amongst other fun things and fandoms; and even though we come from completely different backgrounds we understand each other when it comes to more serious matters like health, we’ve both been through our fair share so she knew how to be there for me through my chemo, and education (as in go against the system hehe) and plans for when we “grow up.” She currently lives with her boyfriend, who amazingly gets as excited for Disney trips as we do, and her fur babies. Ann is studying to become a school librarian so if you need a book recommendation ask her, so far she has never steered me wrong.
Do you remember who wrote the first letter and what it was about?
Bree: I had to check my records for this! I sent out the first letter but we had been emailing so much at this point that I don’t remember what that letter was about. It was just a natural continuation of our already existing conversation
Nerdy: I think it was basically just a continuation. We talked a little but about our interests (I had just gone to Disney world so we shared Park stories) then we found out we grew up in the same area. It was amazing to find out how much we had in common.
What made you think you were going to get along?
Ann: When we found out our common interests. I would even say that I knew it before I even received the first letter. I would always be excited when I saw her name pop up in my inbox and even our emails were lengthy. I feel like in some ways, it is easier to be more open and honest with people through snail mail and I’ve been able to tell Bree things I haven’t shared with all my “real life” friends. Plus, we both have our own health issues so we’ve bonded over those. It was comforting to be able to openly discuss those types of things with someone that understands and still treats you “normal.’
Bree : I agree. I knew Ann was a great match for me when she said she loved Disney as much as I did and was still a little kid like me. That makes you a really good person in my book! But once I opened up about going through cancer and she didn’t become awkward or treat me differently, but instead understood what days at the hospital are like and all that I knew we would be friends!
What are the geek loves you share?
Ann: We both share a love of Disney. We just did our Christmas gift exchange over Skype and it was really pretty much Disney themed. We both also collect stuffed animals. As far as fandoms Bree got me hooked on Vampire Diaries and I shared Supernatural and Monster High with her. We’re both huge Buffy fans as well.
Bree: Haha, yes Disney’s the biggest one and we have spin-offs of that one like Stitch, Duffy Bear, Tsum-tsums, everything droid from Star Wars. We also both love Once Upon a Time and book wise we share a love for YA and fantasy like Lord of the Ring.
Ann: Since I’ve known Bree, I usually buy doubles of anything Disney so I can send her one too!
Bree: True! Pin collecting and Hello Kitty is another shared geek love so when I go look for myself I always keep Ann in mind too.
What new things did your pen pal made you discover?
Bree: I discovered Monster High, my love for Supernatural, a need for a Nintendo DS (still working on getting it) and avocado ice cream. Most of the time it’s just discovering we like more of the same stuff without knowing it!
Ann: Bree got me to break down and watch Vampire Diaries. I feel like our friendship has deepened my love for Disney because she never makes me feel silly that I am 28 and still love Disney and going to the parks. She recently got me hooked on Neko Atsune too. For Christmas she got me a really thoughtful gift. I confided that I was having trouble in my math class and she sent me a pendant of the buddhivista of wisdom and I passed my class. I have always gravitated to other belief systems and I’m learning more about eastern cultures through her. Plus, she travels a lot and is kind enough to pick up various trinkets so I often live vicariously through her travels.
Do you have a funny story that happened to you to share with us?
Bree: I’m not sure if this counts, but we almost met in person in California! Disneyland to be exact. We didn’t know but we both planned trips there to celebrate something personal and of course Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration and Halloween. Unfortunately we ended up going on different dates but we made up for it through texts. Ann was there before me so she texted me about all the merch I could be interested in and such, when I got there I knew what to be line for and I tried to look for things she might have forgotten or had not been released yet when she was there.
Does it mean you never meet IRL? Are you planning to do it one day?
Bree: No, we haven’t met IRL yet, sadly. We don’t have specific plans but we definitely want to meet. We’ve been talking Disney trips or road-trips…
Ann: The funny thing is that we grew up about 40 minutes from each other as well. I’ve always wanted to visit Salem because of the history there and now I have another reason. I’d love to do a Disney meet up or road trip with her one day. In the meantime, we text or use Skype.
Bree: Another fun thing is that we both thought skyping might be awkward but we ended up talking for four hours! I only do that with people I grew up talking on the phone to.
Ann: My boyfriend was like: “you need to let her go to bed! It’s 3am!”
What is your favorite piece of mail she send you?
Bree: I think the first letter and package I got from Ann is my favorite just because we were just getting started and she went all out putting an awesome birthday package for me filled with toys, Disney magic and a long letter. It meant the world to me!
Ann: Her birthday was a month after we started writing and I already knew we would be great friends. We both collect Disney Tsum-tsums so I sent her a Donald one and a bunch of other things with like, a six page letter.
This is the first letter I got from Bree. I was elated to get mail because I had penpals in the past (on live journal and such )but they never seemed to work out or write really long letters. As soon as I saw the stickers and the Disney themed stationary, I was beyond excited because of our shared love of Disney.
I don’t really have a favorite piece of mail from her because each letter makes me feel like the first one. I feel like snail mail correspondence is unique because you have to take the time to commit your words to paper after finding the perfect stationary you want to use. It makes everything so heartfelt and then when you add the anticipation of waiting for a reply, it’s just a fun experience and a great way to build a connection. The IGGPPC HQ did such a great job matching us!
Bree : I agree with everything Ann said! I love everything I get from her, she always chooses awesome stationary and washi, etc. The birthday package was my favorite just because I realized just what a generous soul she is that she felt the same level of friendship I did with so little time of being matched.
That’s all for now! Thank you Bree and Ann for sharing your story with us… It was such a pleasure!
I hope you enjoyed meeting Ann and Bree as much as I did. Seeing them so close to each other and how much this friendship brought to them is a reason why I love so much this club. You can follow their adventures on Twitter as @coliBree_c (Bree) and @nerdygimpblog (Ann).
You have a wonderful pen pal and want us to meet her?
Feel free to contact me anytime (@EiTHELEEN on twitter or by email firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell me of your stories with your fabulous pen pals, and maybe you’ll be on the next article!