It’s very rare that the pen pal community and mainstream news intersect–and yet the recent announcement that US stamp prices will go down by 2 cents come April is undoubtedly the talk of every American snail mailer. It’s easy to see how this might be misinterpreted, at first, as good news. You’d think that the postage drop, if tiny, will make the pen pal lifestyle slightly less pocket-draining and more accessible.
In reality, cheaper stamps are ultimately terrible for a postal system that is already struggling to keep itself afloat financially. Folks, the USPS is amazing! Isn’t it wonderful that we can just fling letters and packages in blue boxes and they will magically travel across the country and around the world?
To put it in unnecessarily overdramatic terms, no post = no pen pals in America. Truly the darkest timeline.
So let’s do what we can and support the postal service, okay? In April, I urge you to help keep our mail system alive by investing in lots of the beautiful new stamps available for 2016–and sending off extra letters to faraway friends.
(Disclaimer: this post is in no way sponsored or paid for by USPS (I wish!)–I just really love stamps. And mail. And pen pals. By this point, though, does that really surprise you?)
#1. Global: The Moon International
I use Global Forevers constantly–and, to be honest, I’d grown a bit tired of the standard wreath-bedecked world design from 2013! I’m so glad the post office decided to send their most useful stamp from Earth to the moon this spring.
#2. Botanical Art
True story: on Saturday I stood behind three near-identical, elegant older ladies at the post office, and all of them bought a book of these gorgeously vintage floral First Class stamps. If the classiest women in Hampshire County are doing it, why don’t you?
Okay, so technically these came out in 2014, but I believe firmly that they are the most underappreciated stamps in American postal history. Imagine a world where these beautiful woodsy illustrations were the standard for all mailing instead of the overused American flag Forevers…
#4. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
These beauties are doubly useful–as “non-machinable surcharge” stamps, they can take care of square/thick/weirdly-shaped envelopes, and can also cover almost all of the cost of a normal international letter. (You’ll just need to add one more standard Forever to get to the total!)
#5. Maya Angelou
Though this isn’t quite a new release either, how could I leave out the lovely stamps that pay tribute to the phenomenal Dr. Angelou? It’s always wise to send her words through the mail.
How do you feel about the proposed postal change, American readers? To those of you reading (and writing letters!) from abroad–when’s the last time your country’s postage rate went down?