Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Going to the Mailbox.....

I have this strange idea about going to the mailbox, which is something I only get to do on Saturdays and during the summer. Not that I CAN'T go to the mailbox the rest of the time, but Hubby is always home before me.

The mail carrier stops at our mailbox, the house next door, which is a dead end (the subdivision was built before they thought of cul-de-sacs), where he turns around and delivers to the three houses on the other side of our short street.

I always wait until he has left our street completely before I go outside to collect the mail.

I don't want him (or the neighbors) to think I'm desperate.

Like he doesn't already know more about my household than a decent private investigator could figure out. He's had more than one conversation with my mother-in-law, who lives at the end of our street, so .... hello? We're like best friends or something.

Going to the mailbox, though, isn't nearly as much fun as it used to be. There was a time when I might expect to get a note from one of my high school buddies, only one of whom I have continued to correspond with on a regular basis. Sometimes I got cute little cards, the kind of things that get forwarded to a gazillion email addresses these days.

I still get birthday cards in the mail, and that is very special. Even my mother-in-law mails my card, and she could almost toss it up here from her house.

When I started my online job, I could look forward to getting an occasional check in the mail, and believe me it was OCCASIONAL. They couldn't figure out how to pay us regularly, so we were just grateful to get any money at all. Direct deposit? Fuhgedaboutit. We have that now, but way back in 2006 .... that was way too much to ask for. So it was a nice surprise every now and then to go to the mailbox and see a real live paper check hiding among the bills. And the advertisements.

Even the bills don't come in the mail anymore. Almost everything we pay is online, and I can make payments even BEFORE the statement date just to make the balance look less. Yes, I am seriously disturbed. I pay my credit card off in full every month, but sometimes I sneak an extra payment in there mid-month. HELLO EINSTEIN, IT'S THE SAME MONEY!!!!!

I get catalogs from a dozen different places from whom I NEVER order anything, but from whom I MAY have ordered something ONCE in the past. Or I get catalogs from when Sweet Girl still lived here (she moved out seven years ago). Oh the irony, when I get a Barbie catalog and a Victoria's Secret catalog on the same day, both with Sweet Girl's name on them.

I would like to stop some of the catalogs. There's one in particular that hurt my pride so deeply several years ago that I'd just as soon it not even arrive in my mailbox. It's for a company that specializes in women's cycling clothing and accessories. Cute clothing and accessories. Designed for STICK-THIN women who happen to be cyclists. When they first advertised skorts for cycling, I ordered one, along with a matching jersey. Because someone had told me their clothes ran small, I ordered up a size. And when the outfit arrived, there was no way in hell it was going around my middle. I packaged it right back up and got my $110 back. I've detested the sight of their catalog ever since then. I suppose I could wear some of their socks, but no way in hell I'm going to give them any of MY business.

I used to get magazines, but I got so far behind reading them that I let them lapse. I was especially fond of Reader's Digest, but they incurred my wrath because they would send renewal notices about two months after I had JUST renewed. It didn't matter that I still had 22 months left, the renewal notices kept on coming. Pretty petty reason to stop getting a magazine I've read all my life, isn't it?

About the only thing we get in the mailbox these days is junk mail. My mother would wash my mouth out with soap for using that terminology, because that was how she made her living for years. She had her own mailing service, and they did mostly "direct mail advertising." Known to you and me as junk mail. I worked for her, both part-time and full-time at different points in my life. Go ahead .... ask me any zip code in Georgia. Just ask.

But just like Pavlov's dogs, we hear the little Jeep that the mail carrier drives, and we head right out the door (watching to make sure he's left our street, of course) to collect the mail.

Then we throw most -- if not all -- of it in the trash.

No comments: