Archive for January 12th, 2008

Love and the Mail

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

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There are only two things in life for which we constantly hope and dream, and then, even after our illusions have been continually squished like sidewalk worms after a spring rain – we begin again – as if it were our first time.

One is Love. The other is the Mail.

“Mail come?”

“Did you get the mail?”

“Mail late today?”

“Anything for me in the mail?”

“Mail in?”

“Anything in the mail today?”

“Mail here yet?”

After years of disappointments – for six days a week, we still hope there will be some significant prize in our Cracker Jack mail boxes – even though Reality is doubled over in laughter at our stupid dreams. Exactly what is it for which we hope? A large, unexpected check? A handwritten note from a long forgotten lover? A letter from someone, somewhere to whom we gave good advice when Carter was President?

How many times in our lives have we received anything that bears even a remote resemblance to mail like that? And what do we usually get – day after day after day?

Bills. Requests for money to help homeless children, abused children, religious causes in Africa, South America, and the rest of the world, cancer research, childrens’ hospitals, educational institutions, landmark preservations. More bills. Money for whale savers, stray cat and dog advocates, tree huggers, battered women, police and firemen retire- ment accounts, community restorations, wildlife protectors, funding for this old disease or that new treatment and baby seals.

Oh, and the advertisements. Incredible rates on pre-approved cards and once-in-a-life- time book offers. Prices on subscriptions where the cost of each magazine is less than the damn postage to mail it. Reminders of last chances to renew this or restart that and
even important looking letters from corporate officers saying how much they miss us. How nice. But you’d better act now! Don’t put this off for another minute! Stop your dull life and jump on the stamp-train to glory and riches!

We get catalogues for fruitcakes, dry-ice steaks and lobsters, oranges, bananas, apples, and pears. Treasures of trinkets and trash. Free! Free magnets, key holders, and return address labels. Free pens, pencils, and cardboard photo frames. And surely you’ll become maimed or crippled if you use this crap without sending in a donation. Like, how could you, ingrate?

And how lonely do you have to be to open anything addressed, “To our friends at………”, “Current Resident of……” or “Box holder”? Get a cat, wouldja?! Or even a friggin’ goldfish. Goldfish are good.

Now you agree with everything I’ve said, don’t you? But here’s the test. The next time you’re SUPPOSED to get the mail – don’t. Put it off a bit. Don’t worry about tragedy – emergencies come over the phone. But let’s face it. You’re a postal junkie. Try to ride out the craving; use your rational thinking process. You know one letter’s too many and a hundred letters aren’t enough.

Just ignore the damn mail for a day or two – really. Three days is kind of pushing it. If you’re not on vacation – and you don’t get your mail for three days – Postmen and Postwomen are trained to “tell someone.”

And then “someone” will come sniffing under your door. They’ll think you’re either strange . . . or dead.

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