Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I know very few people who love the mail as much as I do. Upon returning from a trip I am sometimes prompted to ask friends if they received the postcard I sent- I am perplexed by responses along the lines of ‘Oh- I have not checked my mail for a while.’ Whaaa…? How can you not have checked your mail?

For me, there are few things greater than a magazine or a postcard in the post office box. Nothing beats a surprise letter though. I am fortunate to have parents that will still send the occasional letter, and some friends have sent hand written letters as well. I’ve even gotten into an ill-conceived long distance relationship (with 2,408 miles of separation to be exact) that was partially induced by my postal addiction.

Yes, my name is Laura and I have a postal addiction. You may have already guessed that, since ninety-five percent of the content I write about is focused on cards that I love, but I think everyone knows the ulterior motive to sending cards, is to get them in return. Even though my ratio of card giving to card receiving is about 3:1, it is still completely worth the effort.

Imagine the scenario: you’ve just arrived home from work, or a Saturday of running errands, and of course you stop by the mailbox on your way inside. Upon inserting the key into the mailbox, and swinging open the creaky door you scan the paper booty. There are a few of the standard size white envelopes, denoting bills or insurance claim receipts. Then you see a flash of color in an atypical size- your heart lifts just a bit- it could still be a marketing gimmick, a ploy to subscribe to a new magazine, or a coupon for a mass retailer. Pulling the letters outside the box, you are allowed surrender and let your spirit rise as you see there is actual hand writing on the envelope. Penmanship is not longer a skill that gets rewarded in school, so more often than not the handwriting is somewhat clumsy. But the fact that a friend took the time to put the pen to the paper defies the connotations that designers strive so hard to build with fonts. The handwriting is subtle, and does not indicate any particular mood- but it positively screams human.

You hurry inside now, and dump whatever is occupying your arms, so you can focus on this unexpected joy. Ripping open the envelope you get the first hint at what this will be: a thank you card for a gift, a love note, a hello from a friend, an indicator that you were in someone’s thoughts. The card itself can be a mass- produced item from Hallmark or even picked up from the grocery store; or it can be a beautiful example of the letterpress designs that I have a particular penchant for and feature on this blog. The point is that someone took the time to physically buy you something, handwrite the letter and drop it in the post office. No social media site, no inbox, no text can ever compete.

Feel free to send me some mail.

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