View Full Version : An Embarrassing Question

Nathan Pannbacker
06-08-2007, 04:25 PM
As might be noticed on my profile, I am 18 years old. Let none doubt my fervor on account of my age - that's not why I'm mentioning it. I am instead using that to enter a request to share on the experience of those older than myself and more experienced.

For you see, though I am embarrassed to admit it, I have no clue how to write and mail a letter. I have written exactly one handwritten letter in my entire life. I was only 9 when I did it. So having gone half my life without writing any letters I'm not clear on how I'm supposed to do it now. By not clear on how to do it, I mean the whole shebang. I have a grasp of writing so I don't feel I need any help on the contents of the actual letters. However, I don't know the first thing about acquiring envelopes, stamps, how to fill out envelopes, and I'm not entirely clear on how I'm supposed to mail the letters either.

I have grown up on email. I have recently realized however just how easy it is to write an email, and how much more effort it takes relative to that to send a handwritten letter. I want my words to have maximum impact and be as memorable as possible. Therefore I would like to start writing political letters instead of simply political emails.

So if you would please, I would greatly appreciate instruction. Alternatively if someone is aware of a current site which handles the same topics, I could study that. I beg forgiveness for the apparently trivial nature of this request. A brief survey online revealed that many more people are uncertain of what to put in a letter. I am on the opposite side of this matter. I know what to put in my writing, but I am not at all clear on how to send my writing off once I have it!

Thank you for your time.

06-09-2007, 01:04 AM
Is this a spoof? What are they teaching in schools these days?

I'm sure you have a post office in your area, with a mail box. Use can also use the one at your home........postage stamps are $0.41

I get mine at Quik Trip. Envelopes are at the dollar store or an office supply or Target. You need to find a website that shows you how to format a letter:
Header, greeting, date and such.

The envelope needs a return address, as well as the senders address and zipcode.

If you're for real...........Good Luck

06-09-2007, 01:07 AM
formatting a letter website:


06-09-2007, 01:10 AM
instructions for addressing an envelope:


06-09-2007, 06:42 AM

....I'm not alone!

IF I sit down and think about it, I can usually get it right, but it's so rare that I find myself second guessing myself the entire time.

Nathan Pannbacker
06-09-2007, 02:42 PM
This isn't a spoof! And if I was supposed to be taught this in school, it just goes to show what rotten pits our public schools are. I've taught myself more than school ever taught me.

Thanks for the link!

06-09-2007, 02:59 PM
I don't have a clue why anyone would think that you would ask for help if you didn't need it.

The schools of today have dummied down most of the subjects we think are being taught. I guarantee you there is not one math course that teaches credit card interest rates and the pitfalls that follow, not even in college since the credit card companies hawk their goods to any freshman asap.

Who runs the schools and the textbooks? Government doesn't want our youth to be savvy consumers, they want everyone in debt and it appears their plan worked.

I'll give you the same advice I gave my four children. If you can't afford to pay for it today, don't buy it. If it sound too good to be true, it is most likely appealing to your greed. You need one credit card and it should be paid in full each month or cut it up.

Stamps can be purchased online and at your local food stores. Good luck to you and don't be afraid to ask questions.

06-09-2007, 03:28 PM
. However, I don't know the first thing about acquiring envelopes, stamps, how to fill out envelopes, and I'm not entirely clear on how I'm supposed to mail the letters either.

No worries. My roommate in college (way back when) didn't have a clue either, and that was before the internet was in everybody's houses.

You can get stamps lots of places. Usually the grocery store has them available at the service desk. People do not usually buy just one. They come in books of 15 or 20. If you want just one, you can indeed go to the post office. They have machines in the lobby, or you can take the letter up to a person working at the desk.

You can also order stamps online from www.usps.gov. They will charge you an extra $1.00 handling fee. You can even buy envelopes that already have stamps on them.

Envelopes are available at the grocery, convenience stores, office supply stores....for business purposes, most people use the 4-1/8" x 9-1/2" size. That way, regular paper (which is 8-1/2" x 11") doesn't have to be folded width-wise.

Addressing the envelope is simple. http://www.sulross.edu/pages/3335.asp has a picture.

(This might confuse you, but I always think if addresses as a pyramid. The more speficic the information, the higher up it goes. )

Mailing it: make sure you have a stamp on it. Don't know what kind of housing you have, but most multi-unit places have an "outgoing" slot . My house has a box at the street. I put the mail in and put up the little flag on the side. My Moms' house has a box on the house. They use a clothes pin or a chip clip to hold the outging letters to the outside of the box.

Also, there are usually blue mail boxes around town. You can drop a letter in any of those, but packages are a little different.

You can take it to a post office. They usually have blue boxes outside, as well as slots inside.

Robert Johnson
10-31-2007, 04:37 PM
bump for embarrassing.

Adding to the above -- Get a bunch of Forever stamps (http://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10152&storeId=10001&categoryId=18406&productId=29351&langId=-1), either from online, or buy them at the local Post Office. A stamp lets you send out one ounce, about as much as six sheets of paper in a regular envelope. Keep the stamps at your desk with a box of envelopes that you buy from wherever you buy cheap stuff or office/school supplies. Always having them at hand will get you past of the inertia of mailing physical stuff out.

It's also good to have lots of different sizes/types of protective envelopes around, if you want to send bigger or special things like CD/DVDs, a bunch of slim jims, or whatever. Postage gets more complicated, but if you have time, take all your prepared mailings to the Post Office and have them figure it out.

E.g., If you're sending something that's heavy because it's a whole bunch of DVDs or printed stuff that you're sending to someone, you may get a substantial break on postage if they send them as "Media Mail".

10-31-2007, 04:45 PM
I'd just like to say, I guess I see why my mom sat me down and forced me to write thank-you notes to everybody that sent me presents for birthdays, holidays, etc.

10-31-2007, 05:30 PM
Being an eBay seller taught me more about mail than I really care to know. :)