Postcards from Iowa #10

Reverse side: illegible postmark and message written in pencil.

This postcard is intended to be a joke. I love it for its gossipy nature. It was written in pencil and the script has all but faded away. The postmark and address are illegible. If there was a written message, it is gone. Names are written next to the figures in the image, but can’t be read. It is reflective of a forgotten time of white privilege.

What world does this represent? The man and women are unlikely married and that alone is noteworthy according to the sender. If Facebook existed at the time of the postcard, an appropriate comment and discussion thread would be forthcoming.

I have used Facebook since March 2008 to stay in touch with our daughter after her move to Colorado after college. She encouraged me to join. I have no regrets.

To feel better about Facebook, I limit use of the platform. I cross post from Instagram, serve as admin for two private groups, and occasionally post some of my writing there. Most of my daily activity is checking notifications and responding as briefly as I can. I respond with a vague notion that friends who show up in my timeline will be those with whom I interact.

As part of my usage, I curate the “life events” part of my profile some Sunday afternoons. At first it was a timeline of selected musical concerts I attended. Eventually I added other significant events like an audience with Pope Paul VI, buying our first home computer, and selected key moments of engagement in society. I work on it from time to time and it encourages me look up dates and record them as a reference for my autobiography. Because I isolate myself from most of what is toxic about the platform my list of grievances is short. The private group with neighbors is particularly useful in my role as president of our home owners association.

While white privilege persists, societal attitudes reflected in this postcard do not. The circle of people with whom one might share such a titillating message is limited to a small subset of those we know. Most think the better of mocking young love in an age where joy is stripped from many aspects of life. We encourage behaviors of white privilege and keep such thoughts to ourselves. The better behavior would be to determine how to recognize and purge white privilege completely from our thoughts and deeds.

The postcard is distinct. Coming from the time it does, I appreciate the ideas behind it. That taunting, juvenile assertion more often found on the playgrounds of graders than in adult society.

To read all of my posts in the series, click on the tag Postcards from Iowa.