Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Carbon Me on That

Phyllis Lifestyle 25 Comments

There are things that crack me up!

I was in a staff meeting this week with some of the most wonderful people in our company. We were putting the final touches on our 2020 events this year, and I said to one of the girls, “Carbon me on that, please.” She looked at me and said, “I don’t know what you mean!”

I asked if she had ever wondered what the cc and bc mean on the emails that we send and receive. Only us older people knew the meaning of carbon copy and blind copy. So I explained the process of typing paper and carbon paper and the back sheet that we learned to handle in high school. I really felt so old. Really old.

I can remember the total frustration of taking timed typing tests so that we could make a good grade on typing 60 words per minute with no errors. Oh, my goodness—talk about stress! Then there was the tedious process of using the liquid white coverup for our typing errors.

Now let me say this, while they do not know what cc and bc means, they can all type on their telephones at warp speed using two thumbs. And they love to text rather than speak by phone.

Much to my surprise and delight, my grandchildren know how to FaceTime me. Now what that means is they can call, and it activates the camera so we can see each other. Merciful jingles, I look like a sad person and totally plain with no makeup at the hours they call. The first time they called, I had no idea what I was doing. They finally said, “Hit the button Gigi!” I finally got it.

It is so refreshing to be around young people or people who get all this technology of today. I just shake my head sometimes and long for the days when pen and paper were the best communication devices we had for leaving messages or notes. But the speed by which I can talk to my grands is so wonderful, and hearing their voices and seeing their bright faces is marvelous.

I only have one letter from my grandmother Norton that has survived these years. It was a note in a birthday card where she told me that I was so special to her. Isn’t that the best feeling in the world? Today, let someone know they are special and that you love them. It will change their day!

(Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)

Comments 25

  1. I took typing in summer school, between freshman and sophomore years. It was a big, double room, and the teacher placed me in the last row.
    If he caught anyone “looking”, he put a cover over the keyboard. Sadly, I was never caught looking! Sometimes, I wish I had been because I would be a much better typist if I had been!

  2. I love this post! I remember typing class from the 1980s, and of course, the carbon paper. I did pretty well, and my teacher entered me in the BOE (Business Office Education) citywide competition. I placed third for my speed and accuracy in typing and won a trophy. Today, I’m all about the Apple products, but I still firmly believe in hand-written thank-you notes and correspondence. I am grateful that in the third grade, our English teacher taught us how to write them after we returned from Christmas break.

  3. I still have a letter my great-grandmother wrote to me while I as a freshman in college. She wrote, “These are your bread and butter years, enjoy them.” It would be years before I understood and appreciated what she meant.
    What a treasure to have that 45 year old letter in her own handwriting!

  4. Does anyone remember onion skin paper? I have some, but can’t remember exactly what we used it for! Ha
    I bought a turquoise typewriter a few years back. I love using it and just looking at it!
    I like sending long hand letters.
    Its such a novelty, and i think they are really appreciated.
    Thanks for your post.

    1. Sue,
      I remember it and had professors who required that our research papers be typed on it.
      I BELIEVE that the reason is that it is so thin that it weighs less. They didn’t want to carry around a heavy load!
      I have no idea if that is really the reason!

  5. So many fond memories of using carbon paper & if we made a mistake, pure frustration. Sometimes the carbon rubbed off on my hands and got on my god suit.
    I “type” better and faster now on my IPAD than I ever did in typing class.
    I still write letters and like snail mail. And my letter writing friends feel the same way I do.
    I don’t mind email BUT I still prefer the slower way of communication.
    Love your posts, Phyllis.

  6. Phyllis & Ladies,
    Carbon me on that! I too long for the days of yesteryear when paper and ink were priceless letters recieved by the United States Post Office, recipes were written on 3×5 cards and pass down to the next generation, turning the leaves of a bound book and dreaming took place. And so much more…
    Yet, to see my grandchildren at a touch of a “button” on a “mobile ” phone! I saw so much of what was to come at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York, and today it is common place.
    We truly live in wonderful and fascinating times. May we not forget how wonderful the olden days were and bring them into the present.

  7. Delighted to receive The Ribbon today!

    I have always loved and embraced (most) technology.

    As a 70-something, I now prefer texts to phone calls; but, there is still nothing like holding in one’s hand a card or letter that has been lovingly prepared & sent by a dear relative or friend.

    Blessings to all Ribon Friends!!

  8. I still love the written word, because I can always go back and read it again! I have saved notes from very special people in my life also telling me I was “special” to them; and I use them as bookmarks in my Bible, books and even cookbooks. What a pick-me-upper when I come across them!! But I must admit that texting is also convenient when time is short (even though I am a one finger gal). So good to see you the other day!

  9. Love this post! I have such fun memories of typing class and working so hard on getting my speed up to 60 wpm. I’m the same way when I get that FaceTime call, it never fails as when I have a mask on or not ready to face the day, but, how can you not answer? I try to keep hand written notes going to my loved ones all the time. I love reading old letters and note cards. Thanks for the fun reminder of something so simple for us to do, but yet, so important!

  10. Thank you, Phyllis, for the delightful post, and thank you, readers, for your comments. I could resonate with the main themes.

    My now 9-year-old grandson came to me when I got my new phone, saying, “Granna, when you’re ready, I’ll put on your wallpaper!” And then a few days ago as he ran in the door from school, he said, “Granna, I have something to show you. You’ll love it.” He proceeded to open KidBlog to show me what he’d posted about the latest book he’s reading. He was right; I do really like it. KidBlog is a version of GoodReads, which he knows I use. He writes a review of his book; then his friends can submit their comments. I was smiling all the way to the milk and cookies awaiting him.

    Thank you for creating your blog and including us! I so enjoy connecting in this way! I’m about to write my recollections of Martin Luther King. My goal is to relate what I’ve read to my life experiences.

    Someone said to me recently, “Journals, cards, letters, diaries, etc. are primary research materials. How will we create our histories if we don’t write?” Write on, readers!

  11. Have missed the Ribbon In My Journal posts! I have been a letter writer since I was in the third grade and moved to the next town away from my best friend.I will always be a letter writer and card maker/sender. I see the benefits of some technology, but I also see how communication has become so impersonal and to an extent, meaningless. One quick text word, a Happy Birthday via e-mail or text. Blah, blah, blah. I am 69 yrs. old and an 88 yr.old said pointing to me the other day, ” she actually writes letters! I mean pen and paper! ” the other “oldies” looked at me so surprised and said “WOW!” They all had smart phones/ I-phones and I have a “dumb-phone” (flip phone); by choice. I prefer an actual hold in you hand book, to reading on my kindle; which I am writing this from. Yes I enjoy receiving The Ribbon In My Journal and all else from Victoria, watching card tutorials, ordering on-line, etc. BUT… I have no interest in learning or having more up to date technology. Well, just one thing would be great… Face-Time with my grandchildren!

  12. Although I do still prefer pen and paper (and REAL books vs. ebooks), I have to say there are some advantages to newer technology. Since my grandson lives on the opposite coast, Facetime is so wonderful! He’s only 2 1/2, so he is growing so fast that we’d miss it otherwise!

  13. I share your feelings exactly!
    I remember when I upgraded to an electric typewriter and then I used an awful amount of corrector tape!

  14. I found a box of carbon paper at a thrift store several years ago and am clinging to it as an antique to preserve. So much progress, if you want to call it that, has occurred in our lifetimes. The first time I met my ex-mother-in-law I wanted so to make a good impression, and she was preparing a handwritten business letter. I had brought my little portable typewriter on the trip and enthusiastically offered to type the letter and make a carbon for her and didn’t find out until years later that I had inserted the carbon paper backwards! No one breathed a word at the time. So polite, so Canadian!

  15. Speaking of typewriters, we still have ours. Unfortunately it is collecting dust. Modern technologies are not my cup of tea.

  16. There are certainly positives on both sides. I just got a Christmas card in the mail from one of my relatives who lives in Europe! She sent it 2 months ago. It is beautiful as is her handwriting and message inside. Since we have just recently gotten to know each other better, I will save and treasure this card. However, it was through emails that we did start corresponding and arranged our meet up when I was in Europe this past fall, so without that instant and constant communication things might have not progressed so well if at all.
    But I still love looking at cards from the past, old photos, letters…they are priceless. I worry there will be nothing for our grandchildren to look at when they get to be our age…and that would be very sad.
    I’ve also missed your regular entries on the Ribbon, Phyllis.

  17. I can relate to this post concerning modern technologies. When we first bought our cell phone we had to ask our then ten year old neighbor to set it up.

  18. This post brought back memories of my typing classes in High School. I am not up to speed with today’s modern technologies.

  19. You re so right about the advantages of modern technology. I make greeting cards, send them, share them (gifts), and sell them (actually donations to scholarship program). With all the modern conveniences of today, everyone is thrilled to open the old snail mail box and find a handwritten homemade card. It feels like you just received a gift from the heart.

  20. I’ve missed hearing from you. What a delite to see your written word.
    I find it hard to throw birthday cards out from the past because so many who sent them to me are gone now. It is such a blessing to read the special little notes in my cards.
    Thankfully, I still send and receive cards in the mail.

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