A blog about my photos, my artwork, quotations, ideas, collections, passions, England, authors, handwork of all kinds, rusty bits, buffalo, and architectural detail...for starters. And the occasional rant.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Love the USPS

I practice snail mail.  In fact, I have practiced it so much I have gotten quite good at it.  After years of being neglectful, my addresses and birthdates are in order and I send birthday and anniversary cards, even to people who live just down the street.  I have never understood why people who will spend $4.50 for a birthday card are too frugal to spend 44 cents for a stamp.  Buy a cheaper card and mail it to me. Give me the pleasure of sorting through my bills and catalogues and finding something that was sent to ME – me with a face.

For years I made envelopes out of calendar and magazine pages – glorious, colorful and often amusing envelopes.  They were filled with  cartoons, recipes and news clippings that I thought would be of interest and mailed to friends and family.  For the most part they were gratefully appreciated, although I know of two people who tossed them without opening because they just assumed anything that colorful and cheery must be an advertisement. 

I've sent the best matches of envelopes and stamps to myself
I collect antique postcards and I send antique postcards.  Art and sentiments which are a 100 years old are no less worthy today.  Recently, I anonymously sent about 20 postcards (from 30 to 80 years of age) showing floral clocks to a workmate of my daughters.  She has been receiving them at the rate of about 4-5 a month.  Although I don’t really know this woman, my daughter thought she would appreciate both the postcards and the guerrilla mail.  I sent the last one this week, and she should be reading this blog this week, as far as I know she has no idea where they are coming from.

The last of the floral clocks

All this to prove my credentials, leads to the point eventually…

In the course of sorting through an embarrassingly large accumulation of greeting cards it became clear to me that the greeting card people no longer produce for people who actually use our postal system. 

It may just be that I find them especially attractive, but a surprisingly large group of my cards are square.  This means the post office will charge me an extra 20 cents.  Quite a few cards were actually over the 1 oz limit – heavy paper, multi pages, add-ons – therefore requiring another 17 cents.  I had a few that were both square and overweight: 81 cents 

All of the above are acceptable to me because I truly believe the US Post Office is one of the most valuable things I get with my tax dollar.  Where else in the world can you get safe, dependable delivery six days a week for a matter of pennies?  If I mail today in Seattle, my 44 cents will deliver in 2 days in New York (in most cases).  I think that’s a heck of a deal, but a lot of people do not agree with me.  I actually had a friend that drove to my house to deliver a card to save the cost of a stamp – think about it.

What really proves my point is the paper being used for envelopes.  I found dark green and dark blue envelopes – I happen to have white gel pens, but how many normal people do?  And quite a few were made from a metallic or pearlized paper that does not accept most pens – alright, I happen to have fine point Sharpies also, but how many normal people do?  Aside from establishing that I am not normal, I think I have made my case. 

The greeting card industry may have given up on snail mail, but I haven’t.

1 comment:

  1. I love your envelopes!

    The thrower-outers: Was one of them someone named Emily?