About a week or two ago, I wrote about the new cause I had decided to take part of. It took a few days for me to finally get the email from Adopt a Platoon that contained the address for my very own military penpal but afterwards its been all on me to write. I should have first considered the all important detail of presentation before I signed up but I was all ready to participate in a wonderful cause. It was as I was ready to write my first letter that I wondered how to do it.
And no, I had no issues on what to write.
But more what to write it on.
This brought me to my first dilemma, where was all the stationery?
I found some pretty notecards and that was what I first wrote on. But notecards have very limited space on which to write. This would work for some days when I just wanted to jot off a small note but not for the expansive writing that thorough introductions require. So I went about looking for stationery and I have to say that I found it rather lacking. Short of getting my own letterhead, there weren’t many pretty sheets of paper with which to write on. The ones that did would come with packets of envelops but these brought on the second conundrum.
You see, if you wrote a decent length letter, it would take more than one sheet.
Which meant you were using more paper than envelopes.
And end up with a surplus of envelopes.
So I decided to go the route of buying very colorful envelopes.
You know, I’m not entirely sure. A very large part of me wants to be fully distinctive. I mean, sure I could just go to Walgreens or Target and buy a box of boring white envelopes. If I was lucky, they might have some in pastels. What would have been the fun in that? I wanted my penpal to know it was me writing from more than just reading the return address. So instead I went online and bought 100 envelopes in a color called Gamma Green. I love them! I love them far more than I thought I would.
The other dilemma was stamps. I can’t remember the last time I bought stamps. But, being the bombshell that I am, I wanted it to be part of the presentation. From what my brother told me, the entire letter was part of the fun of receiving it. It was why I chose colorful notecards and surely it would be just as fun to have an awesome stamp to give it extra personality.
They arrived the past 2 days and I just finished writing my first letter and addressing it using them. It makes me very happy to see it and I think it will give just the impression that I want. Who knows if my penpal will even appreciate it or notice the little details I add but I like to think that he might. But in order to do it, I did have to go through very specific lengths to accomplish it. This just makes me realize how much writing letters have fallen into something of nostalgia. If one really bothered to think about the past 3 months and how many letters they mailed, I think most would be able to count it on one hand. I think we are more likely to remember all the packages we may have mailed instead.
Who really has to send letters anyway?
I know the kids at the center send letters to their family and many receive mail. So am sure there is a larger group when it comes to behavioral centers, rehabilitative ones and even detention centers… who all must also write letters like the kids need to. Then there are those deployed or in basic training who can most easily be reached through letters.
But when it comes to the kids at work, many aren’t even sure how to address their envelopes or the basic format for a letter. Does that still get taught in classrooms or do they merely get email etiquette now? I remember being in elementary and getting a random penpal assigned to us from someone within our same grade. I remember having an international penpal in Asia for while, too.
As they say, demand is what keeps things working and also what keeps prices down. It appears that USPS has raised the price of stamps every year for the past few years and I don’t believe it’s all just based on the cost of fuel. There has to be something more to it.
Should we be fighting to preserve this mode of communication?
Or should we be striving to make the universe more connected through digital means?
Tell me what you think.