Hi From LBI: My Newfound Postcard Obsession

By ANDREW COSTA | Aug 09, 2017
Courtesy of: Andrew Costa

Prior to this summer, I mailed out fewer than 10 postcards in my 41-year-old life. This summer to date, I have mailed over 50. Recipients have included friends, family, coworkers and neighbors. I’ve purchased postcards from all over Long Beach Island, prices ranging from three for a dollar to a $1.99 each (yikes!).

There is no shortage of images. Some are retro, some are cheesy, some are inappropriate, some are classy and some are traditional. Some require a first-class stamp and others a postcard stamp. My written messages have ranged from the simple “I hope this finds you well” to oddball comments based on the picture on the front of the postcard. It’s been fun. 

You might ask why a 41-year-old man would spend his precious vacation time and energy writing postcards, buying postcards and stamps, and driving to and from the post office. I don’t have an answer. What started one cloudy afternoon in early July has progressed to writing four a day. Three sentences, an address search on Google, and sticking a stamp are really all it takes.

I am addicted to my phone as much as the next guy. I could have texted, messaged via social media or emailed these people. But something this summer has compelled me to physically write to them. When I sit down to write, a level of thinking is required that differs from using my phone or computer to communicate. I’ve learned that writing postcards is a creative process as opposed to using my fingers to text with provided words and an emoji. 

Many recipients of the postcards have reached out and thanked me for thinking of them; the postcard made them smile and gave them a much-needed laugh. Who would have thought that writing three sentences would have created a two-way street of gratitude?

In 2017, I guess many would say writing postcards has become a lost art. I cannot remember the last time I personally received one. But hey, if my writing one makes someone’s day and shares the awesomeness of LBI, that’s good enough. 

Andrew Costa lives in Ship Bottom.



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