When you hear the word Pen Pal, most likely a flashback of elementary school comes to mind. Perhaps a colorful piece of paper covered in crayon writing and glittery stickers quickly passes through your thoughts. Or maybe your memory is the first time you learned to use email and corresponded with someone halfway across the world.
While Pen Pals are typically reserved for younger generations, it has become increasingly popular for adults to participate in ways you may not be aware of yet.
My first experience with adult Pen Palling was when I obsessively stalked the internet for the new Jason Wu for Target collection. After the Missoni madness, my sister-in-law got me hooked on the collaborations. I couldn’t resist the cute peplum or the black flare dress that landed briefly on the shelves before the hoards of crazy ebay sellers and fashionistas on a budget barged their way in to buy 15 of every piece.
With the lack of options in-store I took to the internet to find the things I wanted. Luckily for me, a co-worker was in the know about Facebook groups where women were swapping and selling (and sometimes even going to the stores in their small towns) to help each other find their dream pieces.
Eventually, this led to the start of what one woman would dub the “Basket Buddy” program. It was simple. You signed up and once a month she’d partner two people together as “buddies.” There would be a theme for each basket, and you had to spend a minimum of $15 plus shipping.
The idea of a gift basket from a stranger showing up on my doorstep was too intriguing to pass up, so I went for it. My first buddy wasn’t too into the whole thing, and ended up sending me flowers, but my second buddy really went for it. She filled a box with candy, nail polish, target collab items, and even some toys for my cats, which they still use today.
The latest gift swap program I’m participating in is called Foodie Penpal, which is open to the public. This one is crazy fun, and I just received my package in the mail. A lovely girl named Marisa from The College Cuisiner sent me a ton of healthy goodies from her hometown of Philadelphia. Coffee, chocolate, homemade kale chips, dried veggies, and even a cute recipe book with quotes about food and recipes to try. It’s great for any food lover.
If you haven’t tried a Pen Pal as an adult, try it at least one time. Have you done a pen pal program before?