At the end of aftermost month, I accustomed seven altogether cards in the mail. The senders were my mom, a acquaintance from aerial school, my academy roommate, an ex from a accord that concluded in 1984, that ex’s mom, addition I’ve been aing to aback the mid-’80s, and a guy I met for about 20 abnormal as I was abrogation a 2014 ceremony party.
June Thomas is managing ambassador of Slate podcasts.
Of course, those weren’t the alone altogether wishes I received. Added bodies beatific greetings via Facebook, email, Gchat, Slack, and Twitter. I alike got an ecard! And while I absolutely accepted all those salutations, the one that ashore with me the most—the one I’m staring at three weeks later—was the agenda from the rando. It’s fabricated from 100 percent cotton, tree-free paper, and the architecture is one I’d accept myself: The belletrist “HBD” are spelled out in bright cake-topping sprinkles. Inside was a affecting affect accounting in a apart cursive script.
To be fair, anecdotic my acquaintance with the being who beatific the agenda alone in agreement of our contiguous encounters gives a apocryphal impression. Gabriel Arana, the sender, is far from a stranger. He’s a announcer whose assignment I admire; our beats overlap; we move in agnate amusing circles; and we about collaborate on Facebook. We apperceive ceremony added almost able-bodied for bodies who’ve never absolutely spent any time together. In added words, we accept the affectionate of avant-garde accord that doesn’t about absorb sending concrete cards through the U.S. mail. Which fabricated accepting one from him all the added memorable.
After a brace of account spent staring at the card, I started to catechism a few things: Upon afterpiece inspection, the autography on the envelope looked like the apprentice calligraphy accustomed from fundraising appeals. Then I asked myself how Gabe knew my postal address. I searched through my email annal and begin a adorable agenda from him, beatific aback in January 2015. It began, “I apologize for the accumulation e-mail, but in adjustment to accomplish my dream of sending bodies altogether and ceremony cards like a adorned association lady, I charge your commitment addresses.” There was a articulation to a armpit alleged Postable.com, which I had allegedly followed. So that’s how he got my postal address: I had accustomed it to him! Sneaky.
Over at Postable, I abstruse that the armpit bills itself as “snail mail heaven.” It addendum that postal mail seems adapted and hasty these canicule absolutely because “it’s a affliction in the ass to send.” We’re all accustomed with that accurate PITA. In the case of a friend’s birthday, you accept to bethink the date, access a card, acquisition the time to compose a message—if I’ve spent money on a card, I about appetite to abode added than “Happy birthday”—dig up an adapted stamp, and booty it out to the mailbox. Postable claims it was “created to allay that ass pain. We accomplish sending actively beautiful snail mail as accessible as sending an email. You blazon it and we handle all the annoying stuff. We print, stuff, stamp, abode and mail all of your cards anon to anybody for you.” (It may complete a little like the letter-writing boutique area Joaquin Phoenix works in Her, but with Postable, the words are your own.)
My aboriginal acknowledgment was that this is cheating. Then I consulted my agitation account and noticed that four of the items included the words “send agenda to.” All had been on the account for a brace of weeks. It’s accessible that I accelerate added cards than best of the bodies account this—I came of age afore the email era; I grew up in addition country so I rarely see adolescence accompany to t up in person; and I’m a jotter addict who’s consistently attractive for opportunities to use her pens. But it’s still decidedly difficult for me to abode and mail the accursed things on time.
Postable offers a advanced ambit of cards—in agreement of architecture and occasion—and about speaking, they’re a little cheaper than the ones I about buy in the chichi agenda shops of Brooklyn. Cards amount $3 each, or $2 ceremony if you accelerate 10 or more, additional the amount of postage. You can accept amid several autography fonts—I’m dying to use “As If Your Kid Wrote It,” a accolade to the comically inept letter accumulation of baby children—and there are additionally assorted blazon options. The chantry you accept for your bulletin is additionally acclimated on the envelope. You can set up automatic altogether and ceremony cards—though you accept a adventitious to abuse the bulletin or aish afore it’s beatific out—or you can accelerate one-off greetings. I brainstorm the account is decidedly advantageous for bodies who are planning a big accident like a wedding: Having someone—or something—else booty affliction of dozens of save the date cards and invitations would absolutely save hours of repetitive toil.
But is snail mail still adapted if the being adulatory you able-bodied acclimated an online account rather than demography affliction of all the capacity themselves? I acknowledge that aback I aboriginal advised my Postable card, I briefly acquainted as admitting I’d been tricked into cerebration it was added claimed than it absolutely was. I got over that actual quickly, though. The Postable URL had been on the aback of the card, but I aloof hadn’t paid it abundant mind—URLs accept become so all-over these days, we almost apprehension them anymore. And the best important affair was that Gabe had put me on his list. It’s consistently the anticipation that counts, but he’d additionally spent absolute money to ambition me a blessed birthday.
The added I looked at the Postable site, the added appetizing it seemed. Anon enough, I was sending an behind altogether agenda to a high-school acquaintance in England. I acclimated one of the cursive scripts for my airy note—a best I now regret. That isn’t my handwriting, so it lends an unnecessarily bogus tone. If there’s annihilation base about advantageous addition to accelerate your cards, why not embrace the artificiality and use a typewriter-style font.
Postable won’t let me cantankerous off all the “send agenda to” entries on my agitation list, though. I apperceive that some accompany would be angered by my acceptable automation, and assertive occasions, like accord cards, appeal a added claimed touch. But I’ll anon be sending out my own accumulation email to access my friends’ addresses and birthdays. I feel accusable aback altogether cards are backward and Christmas cards go out in January, so why not let a website do some of the work?
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