Thursday, February 12, 2009

Postal Woes

"I have received no more than one or two letters in my life tht were worth the postage."
Henry David Thoreau

Dear President O'Bama,

I'm sorry to be sending this letter by email but I don't feel like I have a choice.

I've just left the local Post Office and discovered that it costs almost $25.00 ($22.85, but who's counting the pennies?) to send my children 2 small boxes of Valentine cookies. Quite frankly I was a little shocked. Sadly, I considered keeping the cookies, eating them myself, and sending a nice e-card instead. Somehow, that just doesn't feel (taste) the same.

I am writing to you to see what exactly can be done about the continuous inflation of postal rates. Can it possibly be true that a square inch of sticky paper will soon cost the letter-writing consumer 44 cents? Even considering some of the pretty stamps that are on the market, I think the cost is a bit on the high side.

I like technology as much as the next person. I realize that computers have made communicating with each other in this country and around the world so quick and easy that snail mail has become obsolete. Even though I was once President and founder of the now defunct Down With E-Mail (DWEM) club, I have become as attached to my Internet provider as you have with your Blackberry. Yet, I continue to look forward to the daily offerings my mail carrier, Merlon, brings to my front door. Like my faithful Labrador, I still feel a twinge of excitement as the mail is dropped through the slot. I enjoy getting catalogs and magazines, but if it would help save the life of a tree or make the price of postage go down I'd give up my subscriptions. I'd even be willing to go to on-line banking and bill paying. I'm afraid, however, that when all the downsizing is done, it would be a case of less is more, i.e. less mail requires more postage per letter.

I don't think that a mother should be asked to stop sending goodie boxes and greeting cards to her children just because the government can't effectively run its postal service. There is great maternal delight in mixing dough, baking and decorating cookies that her children have been enjoying for well over 30 years. There's also a special feeling a mom gets when she wraps each cookie in saran, gently lays it in a box and covers them all with Styrofoam peanuts. I don't know about other mothers, but I know that the waiting in the slow-moving line at the Post Office doesn't bother me as much as usual when I know that in a few days my kids are going to get a box filled not only with cookies but love. (Okay, I admit it, I'm not a patient waiter, especially in a crowded PO at noon when each and every person there stands knee deep in cardboard boxes and the same organization that wants to charge an astronomical price for shipping said boxes only schedules 2 clerks instead of the required 5) Are mothers across the country going to be asked to put a price on their love? How much is it worth - $5? $10? I think $22.85 is nearing my limit.

Let me ask you this, Mr. President. When was the last time you stood in line a few weeks before Christmas, without your Secret Service personnel keeping watch for overworked and disgruntled postal workers, to mail a five pound fruit cake to far away family? When you were asked to pay more for the postage than you did for fruits and nuts, did your heart skip a bit? Did you shake your head and plead for postal mercy from the bedraggled person on the other side of the counter?

I've been known to make an extra batch of cookies for the clerks at Christmas time. It sounds like a bribe and perhaps it was. But it was in the spirit of the season. You'll be glad to know that the men and women who work for you, are above bribery. The treats usually brought smiles but never a lowering of fees.

I will close this appeal by saying, I hope Malia and Shasha will never be away at college pulling an all nighter and wishing for a goodie box from their mom and dad who cannot afford the postage. The government has bailed out bankers and car companies. You've put a cap on White House employee salaries. Please consider tweaking the USPS before Easter. My $13.00 stimulus check won't come close to covering the cost of sending chocolate bunnies and jelly beans to Seattle.

Good luck and God bless.
Merry ME


Sorrow said...

This broke my heart.
I have not lived near my little kids ( god children and others) in many years.
Like you i have watched the rates of postage just climb ridiculously.
I have 17 nieces and nephews under the age of 17, and this year for their birthdays, it's not going to be cool gifts, hand made from their funky aunt, it's going to be gift cards.
The last home made gift, a box of bowls and a mug, which were packaged well, only two bowls made it intact. I sent stuff to Israel, and Australia, and it was fine, but one state away and the gorillas smashed it to bits.
Then their is the insurance hassle, weeks waiting for them to file the forms and refund me the cost, ( but not the postage????)
I will add my name to yours, mr. President, any chance you fixing this as well?

Anonymous said...

Mom -- I'm so thankful that you braved the post office and its exorbitant fees to send me such a wonderful box of delight! You spoil me!!!!! And I love it!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! They are delicious and you are the bee's knees.

Lots of love, Valentine.