A number of times I have written about the fact that I get more interesting mail than most people.
Now when I say that I am not referring to the content of my correspondence, as interesting as it may be, but to the outside, the part that most normal people throw away.
In my case, I think I am blessed in that much of my mail comes from stamp collectors. That means that my mail often includes such interesting features as personalized postage, reams of stamps that could best be described as vintage, and a fair number of hand-applied cancels. There are also a few just wonderful uses of stamps and covers. My readers also like to mark their mail with cachets, rubber stamps and more. For them sending a letter is almost as much fun as receiving is for me.
This is all stuff that happened before the letter entered the postal stream. Once that mail is entrusted to Canada Post, we get interesting cancels, interesting lack of cancels, and some brutal DIY jobs. Even, the occasional double whammy, where a nice pictorial cancel is reinforced with a second example.
It kind of makes me ashamed that my personal mail is so dull and boring.
The truth is I just sort of scribble an address on the front, slap on whichever stamp the person at the post office sells me, and drop it in the mail. It really is the same way that I have been sending mail since my first correspondence.
It may be that I see receiving mail as fun, like getting a little present, while writing mail is not the same, perhaps more like Christmas shopping.
Fortunately, there are others who have a different view. A number of years ago tennis star Maria Sharapova stated in an interview that she collected stamps.
Wow a stamp collector who is famous, young, an athlete and a female! The interview was published online, and within 24 hours her publicists announced that the start athlete would not have time to respond to all the requests from stamp magazines for interviews. Sort of a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” approach.
More recently actor Drew Barrymore posted a photo on the social networking site Instagram showing her mailing a letter. It was captioned #heartmail with the comments she loved sending and receiving letters, with the phrase “I love the old fashioned world of ink! Snail mail never go away!”
Of course the irony is that she sent her message using social media.
Among the tens of thousands of likes, and more than 1,000 comments were others who said they love to share handwritten notes and letters.
It does give me hope for the future of mail. In a time of tweets and texts and selfies, when we all think the world is consumed to know right now whatever mundane task is occupying us that moment in time, there may be a place for that polite card or note that offers a personal touch. A gentle paper hug that shows up unannounced, and stays for as long as you want.
Who knows, it may even get me to dust out that old family address book.
As for my work mail, in this issue, I share a few interesting pieces that I have set aside over the past couple of months.
Enjoy the read.