Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Correspondence

Everyday it’s the same ritual. I come home and maneuver my car into it’s parking spot. Days that my spot is taken will find me quite off. Mostly it is available and so starts the u turn and parallel parking job. Some days this maneuver is harder than other days, but I always end up in the same place, with the trunk of the maple tree visible through my rear passenger window. I depend on dependably.

I get out of my car and head for the next stop. The mail box. I always get the mail right after parking. I need to feel secure in my routine. I rely on the undeviating rhythm of the afternoon’s duties. Things need to go according to plan. As I open my mail box and grab my three notices of new mortgage rate options, a coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond and the ever present bill I let out a sigh of relief. Now my evening can begin.

There is something about written correspondence coming to your house that is more gratifying than a phone call or email. The first part is simply that each envelope is a mini treasure hunt. Just because the package says “Confidential” doesn’t preclude your finding an advertisement for a new redwood deck, a coupon for free parking at the local Indian Casino, or a pile of money mailed out by some crazy person who picked your address at random. Each notice is a shock of minute excitement and they all build to a crescendo of enjoyment that is sorely required after a long day of the same old thing.

Conventional mail also brings with it certain benefits that are hard to come by with email or the telephone. You can read it at your leisure. While on the couch, standing in the doorway or sitting on the kitchen counter. Unwanted mail is not as annoying as unwanted email. I don’t mind heaps of junk mail the way I do an email box full of SPAM. Wading through the minutia that is removing fake emails from my Inbox is vastly different then thumbing through bright colorful postcards and free samples of baby diapers. It’s pleasant for me to sift through forty-five absurd coupons for floor wax, printed checks or even personalized pet tags. Plus I can open then all without fear of any nasty computer viruses.

Some times even legitimate mail arrives. A card from a friend, an invitation to a party or a three dollar off coupon to “Hank's House of Hot Dogs.” I recall only on a few occasions the sheer misery I have felt upon opening the door of my mailbox and seeing nothing but the nasty glare of bare metal. It’s a defeating feeling and one which I’m not fond of enduring. It says no one cares, not even your creditors. Luckily I can only remember a time or two where this has happened, and once or twice it was because my wife had gotten the mail early. This is a practice that is frowned upon and the action must be substantiated with a very worthy cause. Expecting money in the mail is one of the few excuses that will not warrant some form of reproach.

Sure we get paper cuts, and sure it fills up your mailbox but really aren’t those reasons just a little petty? I have a recycle bin and a club store pack of band-aids, I think I can overcome these road blocks. I say bring on the correspondence.

15 comments:

Lilith said...

Love your blog!!
You are a kind of new point of view...

Lilith said...

Ahm, I do agree, there's anything as sad as an empty mail box... except an empty platform, maybe.

kludge said...

Lilith-

Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed my post.

An empty platform? like for a train or boat? I concur, especially when you drove three hours and they told you to meet them, and you brought candy and flowers only to find out they stayed home and thought the whole thing was very funny when you called to ask if they were ok...

J Crew said...

I was hoping you would show a picture of your mailbox

kludge said...

J Crew -

yes... I know... I have a flowerly mailbox. I didn't buy it though, it came with the house. I would buy a new one but it's in fine shape, and I just can see spending thirty odd bucks on my ego. Though the days when I'm out there with my harley riding nieghbor I do feel slightly awkward.

Maybe I'll ask for a new mailbox for Christmas.

Aunt Missy said...

I thought I was only one who feverishly dashes to the mailbox everyday because there is the slight possibility of a check in there!! Honestly, I go the mailbox everyday and think "oh well there must be somebody who owes me money" or some company that I have overpaid and the have graciously refunded it to me! There is nothing like the CHECK. It was my little secret but am happy to know I am not alone in the world.

kludge said...

Missy-

You're SO not alone. There are countless numbers of us obessed with the mail box and I agree the check is the best form of correspondence I ever hope to receive. :)

Ando said...

Since you seem to enjoy it so much, can I have my junk mail rerouted to your house? I'll take the SPAM because I have a SPAM blocker. Sure, the occasinonl FREE LAPTOP alert will squeeze through, but it's gone with a mere flick of my finger. I loathe snail junk mail. And election season is especailly bothersome. I make it a point to vote the direct opposisite of anything I get in the mail.

kludge said...

Ando-

I'm sorry you don't know the joys of junk mail. I suppose it's not for everyone, and I can appreciate that.

I'd much rather have a political junk mailer than some stooge on my door step telling me why raising taxes is such a good thing.

Roberta said...

I'm the same way about checking my mail. I'm crestfallen when it's empty, and it is so irritating when Ryan gets to it first.

I'm not particularly fond of plain old junk mail, but I do love a good cataloge. Even if it's for a store I've never even heard of, I'll look through it and daydream.

Ando said...

I won't argue that junk is better than a stooge.

jenylu said...

Now I want to see the picture of your flowery mailbox! Would it help if I mailed my request? :)

SJ said...

I love checking the mail each day! I am so bummed when I have no mail!!!!! Now this is funny - we have been to your house several times and I have not even noticed the flowery mailbox - so it must not be too obvious!

jenylu said...

Kludge,
I just went through a week's worth of mail that had piled up on the counter -- I have many of those political advertisements, mortgage offers and even carpet coupons you find so riveting! Would you like me to save them for you? :)

Anomie-Atlanta said...

I don't get excited about mail, but my heart dances everytime I see the Fed Ex or UPS truck. Will it be the wine of the month club I signed up for during a drunken trip to Napa Valley? Will it be the preordered book from Amazon I forgot about?