28 October 2007
This weekend I wrote a few postcards to friends and family. This was, of course, after returning from a weekend in Florence. Do people still send postcards? In our internet age, are we more likely to send an email and pictures after the fact than a postcard? What makes a postcard so special?
Ostensibly, a postcard lets people back home know that you were thinking of them while you were away. In fact, not only did you think of them, you went to the effort to buy a suitable postcard and figure out the postal system in a far away place. The postcard becomes a tribute to the receiver. Three of my friends do this when they meet up and I have received many a postcard with three messages from three different people on the back and felt quite loved. Thanks, y'all.
A postcard can also be a boast. A postcard arrives in the mailbox to announce to the receiver, "I went to [insert exotic, or frankly mundane, location]." Whether you want to add the imaginary "ha" there or not is up to you. These postcards let you know that despite all your best efforts, there is still a lot of the world that you need to see. However, should you need expert advice, you know who to ask.
There was a time when going away meant I wend a plethora of postcards from some frankly mundane location to my friends and family. Nowadays, I seem to be joining the postcard-as-after-thought crowd and sending links of pictures to friends. Will postcards one day become another thing we did when we were younger, like pulling the phone as far away from the kitchen as the cord would reach? Who knows. In the meantime, I will keep buying them and sending them after I get home.
at 10:27 PM