Tag Archives: writing letters

Penning to Pals and Sticking Stamps

Since the announcement that the USPS is dropping Saturday delivery, I thought about the last time I mailed a letter or paid a bill.

**Edit: I meant to include the link to the announcement. Click here to read the new schedule that starts in August.**

Photo by Lynn Kelley via WANA Commons

Photo by Lynn Kelley via WANA Commons

Believe it or not, there are one or two bills that I don’t pay online. *shocked face*

I mail birthday cards to nieces and nephews that I don’t see often. I mailed Christmas cards.  That’s it. I know my correspondence behaviors haven’t helped our postal service.

Before email was common, I was a pen pal. I wrote letters, addressed them, licked stamps (before they became stickerlike), and sent them off. Then I checked the mailbox daily for replies. No hitting refresh.

My longest-running letter-writing streak was with my oldest friend from first grade. She moved to another state when we were in third grade. We kept in touch with each other with letters. Lots and lots of them. She taught me what “wicked” meant to kids in Massachussetts in the 1980s. We replied to each other usually within a day or two of receiving a letter all the way through college. I kept all her letters, too, until a demon cat sprayed my entire closet, and I had to throw out a ton of things. (She was an evil cat. I do believe she was possessed.) Now, we’re connected on Facebook and don’t correspond very often.

DC Super Hero stamps left over after a postage increase...

DC Super Hero stamps left over after a postage increase…

In high school, I had pen pals who lived in France as part of my French class. Those were short-lived, since the French students on the receiving end rarely wrote back more than once. In college, I wrote my high school boyfriend just about everyday (ahhh, dumb young love) until we broke up. I also wrote a high school friend of mine who was in the Army. The letters I looked forward to the most were from my high school besties. I recognized their handwriting and would open their letters before leaving the university mail room.

Now, a trip to the mailbox results in a few bills that aren’t e-bills, fliers for local businesses, catalogs, and other junk. The holiday season is the most exciting time of year because of the holiday cards.

While many people are sad to see the USPS closed on Saturday, the mail demand is not as great as it used to be.  Even though I miss the anticipation of opening my mailbox and finding a letter from a friend, I don’t write any myself. Email and text messaging technology have replaced letter writing.

Do you remember the eager excitement of opening your mailbox to see if you had letters to read? Who were your pen pals and how often did you write to each other? How do you feel about the USPS not delivering on Saturdays?

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