Dear Free-Range Kids: So I need some advice. I made up some postcard-style Christmas cards this year with our family photos on them. They have the pics on the front, and a greeting on the back that has all of our names. It also has our return address on it. I’m REALLY trying hard not to be paranoid about it by assuming that some perv at the post office is going to start stalking my family and steal one of my kids, but I just can’t seem to feel okay about mailing them without using an envelope. Can you help me either feel better about mailing them, OR not feel paranoid for putting them in envelopes?
Thanks in advance,
Hi Kerry! When I spoke with David Finkelhor at the Crimes Against Children Research Center, I once asked him, “What about jerseys with kids’ names on them? Do predators pretend they know a kid by saying his name? A name the predator saw on the shirt?” And Prof. Finkelhor said that he — he who researches child crimes on a daily basis — had NEVER heard of a case like that.
Similarly, I have never heard of a post office perv stalk a family whose photo and address he saw on a card. There are so many reasons this wouldn’t happen, (starting with:
1 – YOU think your family is the most adorable on earth, but it’s just possible that there is non-universal agreement on this point. And
2 – Why would someone stalk a family, which is hard, instead of just doing what most molesters do, which is find the closest, easiest person to prey upon? (Not that that’s so reassuring. It’s just reassuring when your big fear is post office crazies.) Not to mention the fact that:
3 – Most post office employees probably are NOT pervs.
After writing to Kerry I got a note back that she had sent out the postcards. Here’s wishing you the same: Tidings of sanity and joy in a world devoted to making it illegal to even sit on Santa’s lap with mom, dad, mall security and a photographer two feet away. – L