NOW THAT’S FUNNY
Starting today, a stamp will cost 45 cents instead of 44. I’m sure this is going to put a damper on all the personal, handwritten notes you were planning on sending out this month.
I still have dozens of stamps left over from my Christmas cards. They feature the Madonna and Child and their latent holiday gloss fairly screams “The sender of this letter is totally disorganized!”
Luckily, they are “forever” stamps, which means they still are good enough to mail a letter even though I only paid 44 cents for them last month. Forever stamps are good for … yes, forever. But when you buy new stamps you will pay the higher price of 45 cents.
Remember the old days when the post office raised the stamp prices, and you had to go buy a bunch of 3-cent stamps to add to the stamps you had just so that you could use up all your old stamps? And I never bought the right amount of three-cent stamps, so I would end up with extra three-cent stamps floating around my drawer. Why should I throw them away? That’s 12 cents!
The post office is losing money because so many of us now have our mailing needs met by the Internet. Email, online bill payment, Facebook, etc., keep us all current without buying any stamps.
Still though, there’s nothing like getting a letter.
I make my kids write thank you notes, and I write them, too, and we mail them. My mother sends me clippings of newspaper articles with keen regularity, and we all still get birthday cards in the mail. My mother-in-law sends a dollar with each of her cards. We love when she sends a card.
When I get a letter or a card, it usually floats around the dining room and living room for a few days, which means I read it a couple of times, or show it to everyone in the family to make sure they’ve seen it, and then I might even save it in a big box I have in the attic. Email gets deleted. Well, not deleted really. Just forgotten.
I don’t get that many cards, though. My mail is mostly bills and junk mail. Or, as Patrick Donahue, the Postmaster General refers to it -- “jobs mail”. It’s one of the few segments of mail volume that has grown significantly in the recent years. On a per cost basis, direct mail still offers an excellent return on an advertiser’s dollar.