The Mailman and Me

I have this thing about mail. Basically, it’s that I don’t send it. I’ve come to realize this throughout the last few weeks as each morning, I’ve passed a Congrats You Got Knocked Up card intended for one of my sorority sisters that I’ve not seen in years but keep in touch with via MySpace and yearly holiday cards. Each day on my way out the door I see that purple envelope and I mean to pick it up, to take it to the mailbox and to entrust it to the fine folks at the US Postal Service, but I don’t. The card has been sitting on my kitchen table — complete with illegible handwritten congratulatory note, address and postage — since August 4. I know this because this afternoon, I came across the MySpace comment where I found out she was pregnant and I requested her updated address so I could send the stupid card. At this rate, the card is going to be obsolete and the Congrats On Your New Squalling Bundle Of Joy card will go out for the kid’s first birthday.

Initially, I thought I just had a thing about mailing cards. I would come by the inability to mail those honestly. My mother is notorious in our family circle for failure to get any celebratory card into a mailbox. It’s become a running joke that each Thanksgiving, when her nieces, nephews and the daughter who does not live within card-hand-delivery-range gather, she gives cash to each individual to cover birthdays, Christmas and any miscellaneous graduations. Most years, the money is in cards are actually in envelopes which are addressed and stamped but were never mailed. Keep in mind, the mailbox is literally outside the front door, attached to the house. And my mom can put other things into the mailbox, just not cards. I think it’s a neurosis against cards. And clearly one which I inherited.

However, I think my problem has developed into a more acute form. Lately, I’ve noticed that my anti-mailing tendencies extend not only to cards but also to thank you notes, bills, and law school alumni survey answers. Oh, and rebates. I’ve recently lost $20 that could have otherwise gone to the shoe fund by failure to connect envelop with drop slot. Drat.

But why would I mail anything? I swear mail has become an obsolete form of communication. I can pay my bills online and my bank actually likes me better if I do. They give me gift cards if I do stuff online and not by mail. Plus, I can send e-cards, and they come with music and spell check and read receipts. The Place of Lawyerly Things pays me electronically and I can get the pay stub from the intranet. The only thing I actually like to get in the mail are coupons for the local pizza joint and that gastronomic wonder that is commonly referred to as Noodles. Heck, if mail is obsolete, so are cheques. I write one a month to my landlord. And even then, I would pay him electronically if he was so equipped. Still, I don’t even mail the rent. Tom the Landlord is the kindly sort and prefers the personal pick up of his his rent. Each month, on the Special Rent Date, I tape a check in a plain envelope to my backdoor and Tom picks it up. No stamp, no postal carrier, not mailbox. No mail.

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