Pen Pals

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#1

Anyone here have any pen-pals?

I was a very lonely teenager who liked buying Kerrang! and listening to loud music which understood the pain and suffering I was experiencing on a daily basis. In Kerrang, every week, they’d have a section for pen pal requests where people would say a little about themselves and then you could write to them and potentially get yourself a penpal. I wrote to a few with some innocuous stuff, and some didn’t reply, or just replied once, but one replied very enthusiastically, a goth girl from Peterborough.

She seemed nice, even though she talked a lot about witchcraft and things like that, but I have to admit, that was something I knew very little about and mostly thought was silly. However I kept it going because it was someone who seemed genuinely interested in the things I had to say and I was absolutely starved of social interaction at that age.

We wrote back and forth for months, where I kinda kept it a secret that I was getting more into bands like Symposium and Midget rather than embracing the whole summoning the dead etc. but I made sure that I didn’t lie about anything, rather just steer the conversation away from the occult and metal. We still had plenty to talk about with school woes and general feelings of injustice so despite everything, we still wrote to each other regularly.

Then after some time it progressed to telephone conversations, where it was a little harder to keep the whole facade of still liking metal going, but since she did most of the talking anyway, it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t long before this progressed to talk of actually meeting face-to-face, and after some time and persuasion, eventually, my parents agreed to let me go meet her and stay at her place. Looking back it’s a bit crazy that my parents let a 15-year-old travel across the country to stay at a girl’s house that he’d never met, but none-the-less, I was on my way.

When we met face to face, I made sure I wore my KoRn t-shirt so as to show that I did still like metal, and remember thinking she was very attractive when we met up. We chatted for a while at her parents place where she lived, mainly her doing the talking like it was on the phone, and me agreeing and echoing sentiments. Unfortunately though, this was the whole night and not just an hour long like on the phone, and before long the chat had dried up. We ended up watching episodes of Rikki Lake on the TV before she went to bed and I slept on the sofa.

The next morning, she went out before I got up, so her mum came to wake me up and tell me before driving me back to the train station. I remember thinking that it was much easier chatting to the mum, though even in my naive way, I could tell that she was feeling massively sorry for me with the whole situation.

I caught the train back to Wales, and never spoke to the girl again. Unfortunately, I also binned all of the letters in my heartbroken state, which is a shame as the whole thing seems almost as though it never happened now aside from the memory. I even forgot her surname until one point a few years ago where I suddenly remembered it and amazingly found her profile on Facebook. In her pic she was using poi and dressed in some sort of furry neon outfit. I thought it was probably best to just leave the past in the past.


#2

nah


#3

I am friends with a number of pens


#4

Didn’t happen


#5

I guess you could say we’re all pen pals in a modern way.


#6

HAHAHAHAHA


#7

I have nothing to gain from this


#8

For many years my barometer for a successful date was how many episodes of Rikki Lake we ended up watching


#9

Good story
thanks.


#10

Good story OP :+1:

Had a bunch of pen pals over the year, mostly kids of a similar age I’d met on holiday (usually camping in northern France). Virtually all of them fizzled out over time, which seems a shame, but enjoyed the letter writing at the time - had a lot of time on my hands as a young teen. Pre-social media/mobile phones you had to do everything you could to build a circle.

I actually still have all of the letters in a box - we’ve just had our lounge and study knocked into one room so I sold my desk and found them while clearing it out. Haven’t read them yet - not sure if I’m up for that kind of trip down memory lane tbh tbf.

That said, kept up one correspondence all the way through my teens and university which was good. She moved to the US to be a nanny and we lost touch, which was sad. Then a couple of years ago she found me on Facebook and we re-connected. She’s now living in Belfast. Have re-commenced our teenage banter at approximately the same level of maturity. Is good :+1:


#11

Paid 50p in year 7 for a pen pal, got a girl from California but never got or sent a letter


#12

You have to post them. You just have to.


#13

This explains nearly everything.


#14

Aw, excellent OP. I think my friends met via the kerrang! Pen pals section. They’ve been married for a billion years :blush:

My parents let me go and stay with a girl I’d never met before when I was 14! All the way in that there London. however they’re not complete lunatics, they came along initially to meet her and her Mum before handing me over.


#15

I had a German one for my GCSE’s. I was jealous of my friends cause they seemed loads cooler. I think we wrote once and that was it.

Me and my sister did a letter in a bottle and threw it off a pier in Cornwall. It ended up in Scotland about a year later and we wrote once or twice.


#16

There will definitely be some Manic Street Preachers/Nine Inch Nails chat contained in them, so probably not that much different to the music board tbh tbf…


#17

Swapped addresses with a girl in Ibiza when I was 15.
She was 18 and I told her I was too. She sent me a nice letter and some pics of us together that she took but I didn’t reply as we’d hooked up and I couldn’t bring myself to tell her my real age. She was sound too.


#18

I had a goth pen pal too! She was lovely. Was from a music magazine too, Select I think.

Had a few over the years, two or three of which lasted several years, one ended in a massive fall-out but the others sort of fizzled out, usually when one of us moved. None of them lasted into the internet age unfortunately or we might still be in touch now. Didn’t meet any of them either, one I did end up spending inordinate amounts of time on the phone to but she was quite an anxious person and although meeting seemed to be the next logical step once I’d brought it up communication sort of dried up after that. She talked a lot about her sexual frustration and I think meeting in real life might have been a bit too real for her.

I kind of miss letter-writing, and long phone calls. I used to write long emails to a few friends but once we moved over to WhatsApp you can’t go beyond more than a couple of sentences. Makes me a bit sad, especially when friends are always too busy to meet in real life as well.

I’ve often wondered if there isn’t a gap in the market for ways to meet actual friends via the internet, it all seems to be tailored more towards hook-ups and that’s not necessarily what everyone wants.


#19

#20

feels like the beginnings of a good lyric here