Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gone Postal

Have you ever had a series of events collide causing you to start something new and then you like it so much you wonder why you haven't always done it? That happened to me over the summer. First, I was unemployed and driving a full-size truck with a V8. With gas near four dollars a gallon I went nowhere I didn't have to go.

While I was going nowhere I had plenty of time for reading! My friend Karen loaned me a book series by Elizabeth Aston based on the Pride and Prejudice universe. While only a couple of the original P&P characters crop up for cameos, I thought the stories were interesting and delightful. In them (and also in P&P now that I think about it) the characters are always writing correspondence. Did I mention I got a stationary set for my birthday? Can you guess where this is going? Letters! Old-fashioned, snail-mail, walk-to-the-mailbox tangible proof that someone is thinking of you.

How much garbage do we get in the mail every day? Credit card offers, magazines, credit card offers, bills, credit card offers. Who gets excited about any of that? But you can't tell me you don't get a smile on your face when there's an actual letter or card from a friend. So I started writing letters and mailing packages.

It's not as good as a face-to-face, but in an economic pinch it certainly is nice to be able to send yourself to visit a friend without the cost. One day I mailed a package to Germany, one to Arizona, and one to Beaverton. With ecclectic mailing like that I probably seem like an ebay seller but I couldn't have travelled to all those places for the price of postage.

Something about the personalization, seeing the handwriting and knowing that someone took time to first write you and then brave post office lines for you. It's a warm, fuzzy thing! And it not only let my friends know I was thinking of them, it was a lot of fun for me as well. Win, win!

I'm not a USPS employee or marketing strategist, in case you were wondering. But I do encourage you to let your friends and family "visit" with you with something personal, tangible, and memorable.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Great insight Molly into an endangered art. The lives of the generation of your grandparents relied on the mail for many aspects of their lives. Your Grandma Mercedes and Great Auntie Ellen were letter writers. They knew how much that meant to others, because receiving mail meant so much to them. How often do we today look forward to going to the mailbox? I know that it is a rare occasion that I do. But, I remember racing Mom to the mailbox to see who could get there first and get the mail. She was actually that anxious to get the mail - I just wanted the race. Auntie Ellen was still writing letters even when her hands would hardly let her write anymore. I treasure them, and re-reading them is like a little visit with her again. Our quick communications today just can't compare to that. I am happy to see you carry on their passion about this.
..from your Auntie Joyce