My mom turns 80 this year, and we’ve decided to extend the festivities to a family reunion. I’ve been coordinating the logistics, timing, location, amongst all the cousins.
On email, of course.
So when the time came to put together an invitation, I clicked over to the Paperless Post website, browsed their templates, chose fonts and customized motifs. Filled out the settings for RSVP tracking. Saved and sent a test email. The result looks something like the image above – except with more data.
Do you realize how many words I just used that have only claimed their particular meanings in the past 30 years? Consider “website, browsed, templates, settings, email.” Common terms, completely new in this generation. I realized this when I tried to explain to my mother and her husband how to look through the Paperless Post site and tell me what invitation Mom might like.
My mother doesn’t use a computer. At all.
So, while I couldn’t talk about browsing a site, or HTML, or even really use the word “image” in the way that we do now, I could ask her a few things. Color? “Blue,’ she said, “Blue and green.” In our culture that means navy with kelly green accents. Font? “Calligraphy is always nice,” she said. “I’ll make it kind of nautical,” I replied. She laughed. I love my mother’s laugh.
I added palm trees because Mom has actual instantiations of the species all over her back yard. The envelope is kelly green, with a gold and white liner, by the way. The stamp, a sailboat.
There’s no question that time has to pass and societies change. But I think as new generations invent new stuff, sharing a language becomes increasingly important.
I expect the terms family reunion, and birthday, to endure. Of course, there’s the Facebook version of those too. Picture navy and kelly green winking emoticon, here.
Have a wonderful weekend.
(as usual, no compensation. maybe i will just start noting the inverse, when necessary)