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I’m 60 years old and recently retired after 35 years of teaching photography. Having time on my hands, I started going through old boxes and, sure enough, found photos of my high school sweetheart. Boom, the nostalgia washed over me. We had been together for five years during and after high school, but it didn't work out. I was the one who broke it off. We were still under 20 and just too young to commit, and I saw a career in photography.
It's been 40 years since I saw or spoke to her. But I now have all of these photos of her in glorious, colorful Kodachrome. I was a fledgling photographer at the time and took some nice pics, just regular hanging-out photos but carefully composed. They aren't just goofy candids and I see these photos as a timepiece of the 70s. Through Facebook I learned she is happily married with three kids. Great. I am happily married with kids and grandchildren. I do not want to contact her, but I do know where her sister's business is located.
The photographer in me wants to send these gorgeous photos to her sister thinking that my ex-sweetheart might appreciate getting wonderful pictures of her teen self. Only photos of her, not me. I would mail them with no note or contact info to her sister. I am not looking to complicate her life or mine. Not at my age! I am imagining that seeing them would make her smile. The non-photographer in me is saying that as nice and colorful as these photos are, do not send them. What do you think? Thanks in advance.
Congrats on your retirement, and thank you for giving me a reason to listen to Paul Simon today.
My thought is that sending these photos could be a very lovely gesture. Not just for your ex, but for her family. I'm probably projecting a little here (I love discovering new things about my late mom's past life), but I imagine her kids might get a kick out of seeing new portraits of their mom from the 1970s. It doesn't sound like these images would hurt anyone. Like you said, you'll leave yourself out of them.
If you know she's close with her sister, you can mail them to that business. But please include a note. There’s something too mysterious about leaving the pictures without explanation. That seems like big-time drama. The sister will have to ask, "Where are these from?" Your ex will suspect it's you. Then they'll have to wonder about your intentions, which are not romantic at all.
Write a note that explains what you're giving them. You found the pictures and thought your ex might want them – that her family might enjoy them. Ask the sister to pass them along and send your best (without including your contact information). The end.
Readers? Any reason not to send or include a note?