Every time I travel, I always think that buying a postcard, actually writing it and finding stamps and a post office is more trouble than it’s worth. But every time one of my friends travels and I receive a postcard, I realize the pleasure of receiving one is worth all the inconveniences of sending one.
As you can imagine, I’m not the kind of person who writes, “Just got to Las Vegas, having a blast! See you when I return.” I try to write something sincere. Since sincerity, at least for me, involves quite a bit of rewording, I write out drafts of my postcards first.
In this age of text messages and email, there is something nice about the suspended communication of regular mail. You can send a long, thoughtful letter to a friend, and not be burdened with their long, thoughtful response immediately. And in a way you’re keeping a secret from them; they don’t know what you’ve said until they get your letter.
Anyway, when I went to Costa Rica this summer, I wrote four postcards to friends. As far as I can tell, all of these postcards got lost in the mail. To be honest, I know these postcards weren’t life changing, but I’m still disappointed. It’s as if all my good thoughts were also lost in the mail. Suspended communication is one thing; lost communication is another.