Thursday, September 1, 2011

All About Eve Redux

Welcome to this limner's Correspondent’s Corner. I cleared off space on a corner of my desk, and earmarked it for handling replies received in response to correspondence I’ve written. In the beginning I simply jotted down the name, date received, and added comments in my own murky shorthand. But today . . .
Okay! Who am I fooling? I am excited. I feel validated! I’m easy; all it took to make my Happy-ometer rise was a response to a letter I wrote or mailed on April 20. After its retrieval from our box, I practically skipped up the sidewalk, up the slope of the driveway, and inside.  I felt like Tammy in the movie Tammy’s In Love. I was grinning for sure. I know for a fact ‘cause I felt the wind on my teeth. My top lip is still stuck, because the silly grin hasn’t left yet.
See, my April copy of Harper’s Magazine was a printer’s mess. It was a reader’s nightmare. Some pages and entire sections were printed three times, entire pages were missing, and the article on Mark Twain said, “Find me if you can!” So, a couple-three weeks late, I mustered enough energy to write a letter to the Harper’s.
I explained the problem. I expressed my desire to read their illustrious magazine, and asked if they happened to have an extra copy laying about, and included my address in case they felt like sending one my way. Well, a new copy made it to Limner’s Lane, barely an hour ago, and here I sit.
Now, here is where etiquette comes into play. I wrote to Harper’s on my “good” paper. I used my best penmanship. No, I did not use my word processor. Aha! I remember what I learned in school. I used one of my fine linen envelopes, and I didn’t use my “attention-getting” stamps. I wrote in “correspondent mode.” And, the lovely, well-mannered Eve, from Harper’s replied in kind.
Eve did not send me a typed note. She did not send me a standard form letter. Eve, Harper’sOffice Manager, included a handwritten note, penned on paper that bears the Harper letterhead. (As if I expected a sheet of paper towel?) In it, she said she was sorry that I got a bad copy. She even used an exclamation mark! Said I’d find a replacement copy enclosed, then went on to add, “Please let me know if you need anything else.” With grace, Eve signed off with, “Sincerely, Eve.” Her business card was attached.
Why can’t I write like that? She greeted me by name, thus engaging me in a personal way. Then she went on to address my issue, she apologized, rectified the situation, extended a branch of reconciliation, and signed off, having left another satisfied customer in her wake. That, my wonderful peers, is a well-written, handwritten note, and, a little hiccup that morphed into a purr, is my first offering from A Correspondent’s Corner.
Thank you.
This Limner


  1. What a pleasant exchange of correspondence with Eve. I'm glad it worked out well and that you are now able to enjoy the Mark Twain article. Also, congrats on setting up your own little Correspondent's Corner. It must feel good to have a designated place to write. Me? I tend to float from room to room and write in all of them. Therefore, I also tend to spend a lot of time wandering around, retracing my steps, looking for things I've left lying somewhere else. In my defense, there are only so many 1960's era Westerns I can bear to hear before I simply HAVE to escape.

  2. Dear, dearest Patty! It's so good to see you. I feel like I should serve tea. In my best china. You think we could balance tea cakes on our knees as we sipped? Probably not, 'cause I like knee-slapping laughs and I have a feeling we'd laugh a lot. :)

    "All About Eve" is an old piece I recycled. I've been catching up writing letters, so . . . I have to pick up nephew in a few minutes.

    I learned to write where the spirit and my brain meet. That place includes the bath tub, but I learned through practice, that I write faithfully when I have a room and a place dedicated to writing. Learned that trick in creative writing class. :) You'd never guess how much writing is done in my bed since surgery. Habits happen. :)

    Oh, snap! I had a pre-senior moment. In an earlier post I wrote about Sylvia Plath and rocks in her pockets! Oh, shame, shame! That was Virginia Woolf. Why didn't someone correct me? I declare! That's what friends are for, right?

    Patty, you're a member of the Wandering Sisterhood, too, huh? :)

    I won't confess that I like westerns. Not spisketti ones though. Ok, Eastwood's are classics, but I feel your discomfort. ;) Hope the mini tome I wrote arrives soon. It will distract you for a while. :)


  3. Eve's classy response makes me want to order a Harper's subscription. I suppose this shows that a handwritten note adds weight to words and works to make a positive impression...even when correcting a wrong.

  4. Um, Patty, see how I am? I forgot all about Eve's lovely note. Sorry. I do tend to go on a bit, huh?

    I wrote to Stephen King once. I alternated between kicking myself and being grateful for the courage to write at all. I hope he or his assistant shredded that letter. I wrote to thank him for cutting monsters down to size, and for killing the worst one of all when he wrote "Dolores Claborne." That was the ultimate monster-killer.

    Of course he never answered. I chalk it up to my comments about no longer needing to be frightened by horror stories. :)

    I hope Eve gets promoted soon, if she hasn't already.

    Mrs. Duffy! Hey! I agree with you about the power of a handwritten note. I wish more people in Eve's position were more like Eve.

    What a lovely comment. Thank you, ladies.

  5. Wow now that is a company who knows how to hire classy people and they stand behind their product .Gotta love it when a company gives a poop and writes a personal correspondance . That just tickles me to no end . LOL !!!

  6. Although I don't write my complaint letters by hand, I do, however, kill them with kindness. I tell them the problem and offer up a suggestion for the solution in the very nicest tone of voice I can muster. I have rarely been disappointed by the results.

    I'm not sure I've ever read a "Harpers" magazine! Like your other commenter, it makes me want to go out and buy one!

  7. P.S. I totally agree with you that the biggest monster of all was killed in "Dolores Claiborne". Funny you should mention it. We just watched an old Stephen King movie called "Storm of the Century". I heard the name Dolores Claiborne used during this very long movie. I'm not a huge Stephen King fan but I'm guessing his characters intertwine in some of his stories.