Tuesday, March 11, 2008

They're off!

Yes, these

are off in their hand-canceled glory.

A note about the hand-canceling, as I know that some people have different experiences with it than others.

First, what exactly is hand-canceling, and why do people care about it? Exhibit A below shows a regular postmarked envelope:

Exhibit B is hand cancelled:

Image found here.

In my mind, the hand canceling looks quite a bit nicer.

Now, I'd heard some stories that hand-canceling can be difficult to get. When I was buying my stamps, I spoke with the person behind the counter and he gave me a couple of tips about getting my invitations hand canceled.

The whole conversation went something like this:

Postman: Are you a med school student?

Meg: No, but I'm working on my Ph.D. Why do you ask?

Postman: You are the most confident bride I've ever seen buy stamps, so I figured you must be in medical school. Most brides are very uncertain about their choices and spend awhile trying to sort things out.

(Taking advantage of the good impression I'd made)

Meg: Oh, thanks- I just looked on the USPS website and figured out what stamps I wanted. Do you mind if I ask you a question? Is there any way that it would be possible to get the wedding invitations hand cancelled?

(Postman leans over counter)

Postman (quietly): It's officially against USPS policy to hand cancel regular envelopes. But, I know the person who works the early morning shift on weekdays. If you arrive right after the post office opens, she'll let you did it.

And that is what I did. The post office opened at 7:30 this morning, and I got there at about 7:40. No one was there, and 10 minutes later I'd hand canceled all of the invitations.

Did anyone else try to get their invitations hand canceled? What was your experience?

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