Crush Mail, a love story

Springtime! Flingtime! Time to start making decisions that are influenced by sunlight and excitement rather than darkness and despair.* And that means: the return of making and sending out crush art. Nothing finer to make or get, in my opinion. Well, nothing finer IN PAPER at least …

Anatomy of a piece of crush art: paper, envelopes, stickers, pens, stamps, random things.

For who? I especially like to send  crush art to:

  1. Crushes. This one is obvious but worth stating. I might actually never do anything but crush on said person, but that alone inspires and is worth making art over.
  2. Friends. If people I barely know who impress me get my time and attention, how much more do my beloved and brilliant accomplices and partners in action deserve crush art? Lots, that’s for sure. I accept friend crush art and I send friend crush art, for the record.
  3. Dates. People who I’ve already wooed using crush art [and other methods] still get crush art! Water the garden, people. It’s not enough to just plant the flowers and walk away.

Anatomy of a piece of crush art.

    1. Gathering materials — what does this person make you think of? What would make them smile to see written down? What can you pad and fit into an envelope? Do you even have an envelope or will you have to make one? I have a gathering place in my room where I place things I know I will mail. It’s like a little altar to the love I have for all the amazing folks I know and it makes me super happy to look at it.
Things to go IN the art!
  1. Assembly & Content– don’t forget to write something fun / sexy / smart / funny / whatever your heart tells you to on something. Layering items inside items can be fun, and also a way to keep things from getting smashed in the machine that is the USPS.
  2. Sealing– this is a spiritual practice, for me. Am I truly done? Have I said everything I want to? Should I fill this with glitter or more comics with the lines changed first?

    Are you ... SURE you're DONE?
  3. Delivery– you have three options:
    1. USPS: Tape that shit up, double-check your zip code and postage & just hope for the best!
    2. Punk Mail: give to a hopefully trustworthy friend to deliver in person while on their travels.
    3. Handoff: give it to the person yourself. Positive: seeing the look on their face! Negative: it’s a little less magical than the surprise effects in the other two methods.
Delivery method? The HANDOFF

Special considerations

I like to use one of two psychological tactics:

1.  Surprise: hey! I wrote down your address in the morning/at the meeting/some other sneaky way! While this can cross into sketchy territory, I’m hoping you don’t do that. Surprise mailed crush art might not be technically and formally consentual, but it usually isn’t creepy. Don’t be a dirtbag and ruin something beautiful.
2. Tease with the impendingness of the mailed crush art. Hey, I have something for you. Hey, I saw this thing and thought of you. Hey, I tagged you in my instagram feed. Both are totally savory [but frankly I think I prefer to surprise — and be surprised].

Return Address: Just, always include it. That’s how you get return mail, people. And how shit you didn’t put enough postage on gets back to you.


Ahh, the joy of utilizing recycled paper, dollar-store stickers, hoarded treasures and ephemera, markers and post-its expropriated from past employment, and a bit of creativity to put together packages for beloveds and people you frankly don’t know as well as you want to.

Folks: Email, texting, even hanging out does not compare to a package with a letter that’s also full of gathered small bits and pieces, special, all for you. A partner of mine excels at this and its one of the most awesome things she brings to the world of people around her.

And, just this week while writing this, I received an unexpected crushy mail art package that made my day. It had a VAN PIN, glitter and earthy/natural items in the box, and a letter in the shape of a paper airplane. Just…wonderful.

That's a tiny VAN PIN in the mail art I received this week. Do I WIN or what?

But — even if I did’t get magical and random deliveries of crush art in the mail as much as I do — making and sending it Feels So Good. Don’t just rely on email and texting, people. Woo better — do it in paper.

*No really, wasn’t this winter extra-brutal? I GAY SHAME this past winter for it’s extreme austerity measures on the spirits of me and so many of us. Luckily the last month and especially today’s new moon are healing. But, really, I’d take unexpected crush art over most things any day.