My New Home

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mail Man

I'm a mail addict. I always have been, as long as I've been aware of the concept of postal delivery. When I was a kid, I would spend some summer mornings doing nothing but waiting for the mail truck to drive by.

I had the route memorized, so I knew when I saw the mail truck first emerge onto Crockett how the dance would go. That gleaming white messenger of glory would waltz up and down Truman, twist around Sturdy, trot back and forth along Eisenhower, and then saunter to and fro across Crockett. And when it arrived at 2001 (a mail odyssey) my wait paid off with a rustle through bundles of letters, a flip of the box, a wave of the hand, and a big stack of bills, junk, checks, and the occasional letter.

I always had the faintest hope there would be something for me in there, but a moment of truth was rare. Didn't matter. I loved the fact that people all over the country wanted to send my family stuff for whatever reason. It made me feel important by association. On those days when I would get a birthday card (especially the Baskin Robbins free cone birthday card) I was ecstatic, made all the better since it was most likely my birthday. Oh, and the day when the free mail-in offer from a cereal box came in . . . that was pure ecstasy.

One time, my older sister devised a postal system in our house. She made mailboxes for the doors to everybody's rooms. It was awesome. It lasted about a day, which was extremely disappointing.

Then they invented email. Whoever did so was out to get me. Because there are times when I recreate the childhood obsession. But it's worse because there is no mail truck. There's no typical time of day when email shows up. I'll just go to my email browser and click "Check Mail" over and over and over and over as I stare at the screen to see if anything's coming. I'm not expecting anything in particular. I don't even mind spam. At least someone cares.

I could explore the issue deeper, launch an internal investigation into the reason behind my need for validation by courier . . . but I gotta go check my email. (If you've got a theory, though, feel free to comment . . . I'll receive it by email, which might take the edge off the cutting truth.)


  1. I still love snail mail over email, but leave the bills. No thank you.


  2. I love email! I can't walk by my computer without checking to see if I have anything in the inbox.

    The same with my blog - I love comments and am so disappointed if I submit a blog and keep seeing "0 Comments".

  3. Snail mail rocks. It's basically gambling, but at the end of your driveway. You walk out over and over hoping to get something interesting, but you maybe "win" 1 time in 1,000. And yet that one time keeps you going back another thousand times...

    M & L

  4. I love going to the mailbox. The first thing I do is quickly go through the stack of mail to see if there is anything handwritten and hopefully, it's handwriting that I recognize. Those are the best, handwritten letters or notes. I have a friend who could leave her mail in the box for a month. Adam's blog on mail could have been written by me. I have done the same things ever since I can remember. All I would have to do is change the street names. We live next door to the Post office right now. There's some weird pleasure in seeing all the mailtrucks return at the end of their shifts :)
    You have identified the source of my obsession of checking my email inbox every time I pass by my computer.
    It satisfies my unmet need of getting more mail. Snailmail delivery once a day is just not enough:)


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