I am not owed a mailed response

I write a fair number of cards and letters — far, far more than I receive from my friends. This does not bother me.

I love mail. I love the act of fussing over who to send to, what to write, how often to contact. I love figuring out “card versus letter versus postcard.” I love rummaging through: paper bits to glue onto carefully selected envelopes to compliment stickers that have been themselves obsessed over.

Setting everything down for a few hours or a day or two, or a week, then coming back to add doodles to decorate leftover space. This is my gift to my friend. I am not asking them to become a mailer, I am giving them this gift because I love them.

Common refrains include:

“I am weeks late in responding!”

I do not mind.

“I never send you a cards in reply!”

It is okay.

“You have mailed me five times and I haven’t sent anything!”

I am not keeping track, it doesn’t matter, to receive mail isn’t the reason I’m mailing you. At all points, if the imbalance of my sending is creating stress or crossing a boundary, I will pause! This is all meant to be fun!

I am writing this blog post specifically because I wish to continually dismantle feelings of recipient obligation. I want to focus on the joy of sending mail. I have an email in my inbox from a friend who “owes me” (their words) a letter from a year ago; they are not a mailer, we will likely chat forever in email, this is a perfectly comfortable reality. After this blog post is published, I will be sending it to them.

We live in a time where physical mail is rare compared to emails, texts, social media direct messages, and the further infinite variety of related digital communications. All moves to make mail less rare will find the most momentum in keeping things relaxed. Self-paced. Guilt-free.

And! To be fair!

I do not wish to paint myself in the light of “always on top of every piece of mail I wish to send” as a person. As of this writing, I have 5 birthday cards at least few months late and 3 Thank You cards in progress that may not get ultimately sent because I can’t locate where I wrote down the return addresses. This is part of being a frequent mailer, not everything you want to get out the door in a timely manner, does, and unfortunately sometimes not at all.

Note to self and audience, I am working on addressee tracking sheet printables for a future release.

The first of many gifts when becoming a mailer is to accept a continual, no stakes, highly enjoyable, flow of chaos into your life.

Want to exchange cards or letters?



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