March 15th, 2004

Post Office

I went to the post office for the first time in a long time today.

What an odd place. I approve of the queuing, but not of the complaining. Everyone in line assumes that the postal workers are being lazy and not doing their job. I’m guessing the postal workers are assuming that we’re all a bunch of impatient mouthbreathers, so I guess it works out okay.

I’ve always been amazed that I can slap a stamp on something and it’ll get to where it’s headed without too much fuss. People complain when the price of a stamp goes up – I usually don’t. It used to cost a quarter to mail a letter (when I was in high school), now it costs 37 cents. Not bad for 14 years later, I think. E-mail is great and all, but actually being able to get a physical thing to someone else is just…neat.

Think about it – what are some of the most precious heirlooms? Letters written “back in the day.” How cool is it to hold in your hand something that your great-grandpa wrote to your great-grandma when they were young and in love? Holding in your hand the actual piece of paper he held and wrote on. There’s just such a connection there.

It’s the same appeal that museums have for me. Looking at a piece of pottery and knowing it was made by a forgotten woman 1500 years ago…man. Perspective City.

For as “into” technology as I am, I regret that most of our lives can be wiped away by a strong magnet. Your grandkids won’t be able to hold an e-mail in their hands. Videotape won’t last. Even DVD’s will be unreadable in 50 years. Sorry to depress you, but that’s just the way it is. Want to leave a legacy? Start writing things down.

Sure, there’s fire and floods. There are no guarantees, but starting with writing is still a better way.

I also espouse taking actual printed pictures – at least print your digital ones. You’d hate if your hard drive crashed and youlost 3 years worth of memories, wouldn’t you?

So…post office. Mail a letter to someone tomorrow.

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