The Beauty of Postcards


Saved postcards from a wonderful romance –25 years ago.

The most loving man I’ve ever met used to send me postcards while he traveled for work. For some reason when he found out I was married he stopped sending them. LOL!

If the United States Post Office wanted to rejuvenate their relevance, they would start a nationwide campaign promoting the practice of sending post cards. Since my divorce started, going to the mailbox has been particularly stressful. No one writes anymore! (This isn’t a screed about those bygone days).  I want to find something in the mailbox that has more substance than a text or an email delivers, yet, not something as laborious and guilt inducing as a letter, —-guilt inducing, because who can receive a letter and not feel obliged to respond with one in return?

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately since I have been downsizing and going through boxes of stationery, cards, and envelopes that I’ve held on for years thinking I would use them some day. In the end, most of the surplus went into the recyclable bin. If I haven’t used any of it in 15 years, the probability of future use is zero.

It is fun to send postcards. Postcards should be more affordable though. That is a complaint of bygone days. Unlike now, it seems like people used to be able to buy postcards without carefully scrutinizing the cost. Now, gift shops and other tourist traps charge exorbitant amounts for postcards. I suspect buying postcards have fallen victim to the hyper-consumer mentality of “collecting.” There is no reason a post card should be over 50¢. It’s a card with print on it. At the most, 75¢. Alas, many post cards are on the other side of $1.50. That’s absurd. Also, postcards are made to be sent, not collected. At least not collected before it has been written on and sent. Saving received postcards is another story.

Ad agencies working for the post office should be able to come up with the right emotional persuasion that will appeal to consumers and get the practice going again. It may be the windfall ideal that the post office so desperately needs.

A good way to avoid paying for costly postcards is to make your own.

Here are the post office’s guidelines on what constitutes a post card.

You may think that your mail piece is a “postcard,” because it is a single sheet of paper. But to qualify for mailing at the First-Class Mail postcard price, it must be:

• Rectangular
• At least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick
• No more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick

A good rule of thumb is to consider the thickness of an index card.

Currently the price for a first class postcard stamp is 34¢. The price of a first class stamp to mail a letter is 49¢. A letter isn’t worth sending if you do not write a proper letter worthy of the cost of the stamp and envelope. However, with a quick note on a postcard, you can bring a little joy in someone’s life and make their trip to the mailbox less painful.


3 thoughts on “The Beauty of Postcards

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