I received a package in the mail last week that brought a smile to my face. As I tore into the yellow, padded envelope, I was giddy with anticipation. My face lit up as I saw the contents.
1. A ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ pot holder
2. An oven mitt with a recipe for “Texas Chili” printed on it
3. Several homemade note cards
4. A necklace made of seashells
5. Three Texas stickers
6. An unsharpened St. Patrick’s Day pencil
7. A lined Post-it note with a short message from a friend
To many people, these objects would seem peculiar or trivial. Those people didn’t receive the text message I did a few weeks ago. The text was a hint as to what would be arriving. It referenced the ridiculousness of someone in Ohio buying Texan gifts for her homesick friend who just moved to Nebraska. The gifts are perfect. I have the potholder and oven mitt hanging on my cubicle wall. The seashell necklace is on my desk, and the Texas stickers will be put to good use, I assure you. I have already sent out a couple of the note cards – so now it has been revealed that I did not create them. Oh well! Those who know me wouldn’t have believed I made them anyway.
There is a lesson behind this little storytelling session. People like to receive things in the mail. Mailed items are personal. *exceptions are bills, chain letters, marketing items, and unsolicited porn* Receiving a letter or note in the mail, even a short one, will make someone’s day. I know when I receive letters and cards in the mail; I prolong the anticipation by opening all of my bills, etc first. It is motivation to ‘take care of business’ before I sit down and enjoy the spoils of friendship.
I have maintained decade-long friendships thanks to letter-writing. I have friends with whom e-mail correspondence is almost obsolete, due to the lengthy letters we exchange through the mail. While it’s true that stamps are more costly than e-mail, I find the experience of letter-writing to be well worth the expense!
If you haven’t received any personal mail for a while, try sending a letter out and see what happens. Perhaps someone will be so touched by your gesture that they will return the favor.
Also, if you really cannot fathom spending money on stamps, just go to a work acquaintance and ask to borrow an envelope and a stamp. Then send your letter on their dime, per se. No one really expects you to pay them back for a stamp. I know this is true because even ‘B-Slow’ doesn’t feel obligated to pay me back for the stamp he borrowed – even after he bitched about how I stuck it on the envelope crookedly.
So, think of a stamp as a Kleenex – you say “Hey, can I borrow a stamp?” – but everyone realizes that you are really asking for someone else to foot the bill.
PERSONAL NOTE TO A FRIEND: Happy Birthday! Sorry I cannot be there to celebrate with you!