Dear Greensboro,

There’s a lot going on. I’m sorry I haven’t written for some time; well, never actually. I’ve thought about it, and then something came up. But here it is, I’m not only thinking it, I’m doing it! I thought you’d like this personal touch. You probably get lots of mail, like email, mail flyers for anything from Ollie’s Outlet Store to A Cleaner World, and maybe even parking ticket remittance mail with “F*** YOU” written in the memo slot. 

But when’s the last time you received a letter? Do you remember the anticipation that used to accompany the trip to the mailbox? You might have even developed a compulsive habit during the summers of checking your watch around 2:15pm, waiting by the front window and sprinting out to the street as soon as you saw the postman’s truck rounding Florence St. Where did all of that go? Well I’ll tell you what I think – it went out the window along with what we used to call correspondence. We don’t correspond in the same ways that we used to. When two things or people correspond – they establish a qualitative relationship. With the advent of email, that relationship evolved into one that is purely quantitative. Let’s be honest, what’s the number beside the words “Inbox” on your computer or smartphone screen – you know, the one that indicates how many you haven’t, and probably never will, read? There’s a reason we call this generic melange of transmittance ‘mail’ today: because it’s all lumped into the same category of detritus that fills our electronic inboxes. How vapid is the content that can be labeled such?

I want this to be something more. An appeal to an old friend. I’ve grown up with you, and we’ve gone through so much together. You seem to be coming into your own, at least that’s what the Aunts and Uncles are saying. We’re starting to hang out in different places – downtown’s making a bid to be our go-to spot, but you have a lot to offer Elsewhere too. It’s not my place to judge your style, lord knows I’m still working on mine, but I do want to have that conversation with you. We both know that the new kids on the block aren’t actually new, it’s just that we graduated and they’re now donning the latest digs from that Pinterest board for the latest fashions and whatnot. I think you can do better. You haven’t forgotten your roots. But you seem conflicted about whether to embrace those roots in a staunch refusal to evolve, or to undertake a journey into the twitter-verse in search of what works for all of the other cool kids. 

Let’s be frank, what image do you want to project? You’re pretty creative. I think you have real potential to eschew the idea of ‘style’ and embrace a more holistic view of identity and growth. The Moms and Dads told us that patient growth is best kind. I think they’re probably right. The stretch marks showing up on all those gym rats aren’t a good look. Even if we’re a little slower and steadier, we can sustain a more thoughtful development of character. 

I know you said you wanted to go into art school after all of this, and there’s a lot to explore there. I love our trips to the galleries in town. There are so many, and not enough, all at the same time! But what if we steered a little more towards design? Design as a discipline has the potential to reveal our veiled past – excavate it from the sedimentary effects of technological isolation and globalizing homogeneity. Let’s be vanguards! But not like Warhol, he’s loud and kind of crazy; more like that German guy, I can never remember his name, who is flying under the radar but doing some incredible work. Ok, no, scratch that. Let’s be like Greensboro!

Sincerely,

#deliverus from style