A different kind of analysis paralysis

I was in a post office recently for other reasons, so I asked for a book of stamps. (I do occasionally send physical letters still.) The clerk pointed to a display showing about 20 different custom stamps and asked me which ones I wanted.

Several were people I didn't recognize (which doesn't mean I don't know them; I'm bad with faces and stamps aren't large). Some looked like "logos" of a sort but it wasn't clear what causes they supported. One had Arabic text on it. One said "Harry Potter". One had a big heart (Valentine's Day leftovers, maybe?). Most or perhaps all had small text that would probably have clarified who the people were or what the others were for, but I couldn't read the text at that size in the amount of light that was there, and I didn't want to hold up the line with what should have been a simple operation. But I didn't want to buy something I might not want to be using on my mail, either. (I once ended up with some very-religious Christmas stamps because I didn't specify. I won't make that mistake again.)

So I asked: don't you have something generic, like Liberty Bells (that's what my last set of generic stamps had) or flags? She dug around in the drawer and turned up some flags. I'm not especially patriotic, but they're unobjectionable so I took them.

As with quarters and license plates, I sometimes wonder if the desire to offer more and more customization options is starting to impede the primary purpose. I understand the desire to make special-purpose runs of stamps -- they're probably thinking that anything that helps make postal mail, or at least postage stamps, relevant is a good thing -- but in this case it hindered usability. Really, I just want something that conveys "mailing fee paid".

I'd happily buy flowers, fish, space shots (Hubble could supply), auroras, wildlife... anything like that. I like pretty stamps. It all beats flags and liberty bells. But faces of people I don't recognize seemed to dominate this set, and that's not very exciting to me.