Do I even know you?

It was Adèle Geras who got in first. I knew that as soon as I had tidied up my address book, someone would move house. As the tidying happens, you know that it won’t be long, but you don’t know who will be the first to ‘break ranks’. And Adèle’s  name, beautiful though it is, begins with a G. So do most of the other surnames in my address book.

Anyway, I discovered the need to cross out and make a mess, when I was writing my Christmas cards. I write fewer cards every year, preferring instead to send e-cards. Saves money. Saves trees. I could of course save money and trees by not sending cards to people I barely know. Do other people send cards to virtual strangers?

I can’t decide which of my recipients is the most farfetched. How about my late aunt’s English teacher? My aunt was 93 when she died eight years ago, and no, that does not make the teacher 125. We renewed our acquaintance at the funeral. And I believe she enjoys hearing from me.

Or is it the niece of the Australian woman I met in an Italian restaurant in London in the 1970s? Basically, D the elder was another of those who enjoyed contact after what was her trip of a lifetime. As she got older she could no longer write, so her niece D the younger wrote on her behalf. And just because D the elder died, I can’t just break off writing to D the younger.

The lady we bought our house from keeps moving, but she still gets a Christmas card. So does the man who was walk leader on the holiday when the Resident IT Consultant was unfortunate enough to encounter a witch.

For years my in-law family had three ladies by the same first and surname. One remarried, so now it’s only two, but I still get confused. And I’m the one who as a child knew by heart the addresses, postcodes, telephone numbers and dates of birth for every relative and friend. I still would, if people weren’t inconsiderate enough to move house or marry. I don’t want change!

Just over ten years ago I acquired a whole new set of relatives, mostly with a surname beginning with a G. That part of the address book was quite full as it was, thank you. Those who were married, decided to revert to their maiden name. The one beginning with a G. Most have moved house since. One of them seems to move every 18 months.

Then there’s religion. Swedes have less of a tradition of religious cards. But the vicar’s widow likes them. So, send religious cards or not? Is it my beliefs or the recipient’s that matter? And the stamps! Now you have to choose between religious and not. Will I offend someone by picking the wrong kind? If you recall, I’m not close to those on my Christmas card list.

So you’ll forgive me for not sending you a card, won’t you? I know you too well.


6 responses to “Do I even know you?

  1. I’ll forgive you. I’m absolutely rubbish at sending Christmas cards. I buy them every year and then something happens to make me forget to send them until it’s too late. I have a whole cupboard full of Christmas cards, and friends who know not to expect them. Maybe I should just lead them to the cupboard when they come over and tell them to pick one.

  2. You may be on my e-list, Donna. But I’m fairly sure you’ll be spared the round robin. (After all, that’s what blogs are for.)

  3. And I’m pleased to be with all your relations on the G pages!

  4. For some reason this year, I’m determined to send a lot of Christmas cards, probably mainly because people were so kind in sending cards after my mother’s death this fall. I found an old box of cards I’d left under a desk at work (don’t ask) and was going to use some for more recent additions to my card list. But I found a couple of cards I’d written and never sent–from 2001. Both were written from an airport, and were the first time I’d flown since 9/11. The really funny thing, though was that I was expressing doubts about this cab driver that had befriended my aunt and was picking me up in L.A. I was complaining about how everyone seemed to like Freddie but I wasn’t so crazy about him. What’s funny about that is that, not so long after that, he stole my aunt’s car, a vintage Packard. The car was found a few days later, but Freddy, obviously, was not.

  5. It is a good group, Adèle. Just a bit large.

    Seana, that’ a good story. You were astute as always. And I do understand about your mother and the cards. I didn’t send any cards the year mine died, as I returned home with far too little time before Christmas that year, and concentrated on other things. Several people dropped us from their lists when they didn’t hear from me, and only one friend wrote to ask if my silence was a sign something bad had happened. It was illuminating.

  6. People who drop people from lists for lapses, even less excusable ones, we are probably better off without.

    Although they may have just been looking for good excuses to shorten their lists themselves.

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