My Mom and Dad retired to a small town, a very small town in the mountains. They get their mail delivered to a box at the Post Office rather than to their home. It seems most people in this community do the same based on the tidbits of gossip my Dad comes home with. The Post Office, Church and the restaurant they eat breakfast at every Saturday morning are the social centers of their little world. My Dad goes and “checks the mail” Monday through Saturday at the same time each day, he also goes to bed every night and gets up every morning at the same time but that little idiosyncratic and annoying trait is a whole other post.
I just spent 45 minutes of my life waiting in line at the Post Office. My wife made me go so she could mail her Happy New Year cards seventeen days late. When I texted her to tell her the line was long and that there was just ONE mail clerk on duty her response was “Thank you!” Not the response I was looking for.
I keep predicting the demise of the US Postal Service but for whatever reason they are still here. I am one of the ones that keeps them dangling by a thread. I still pay all my bills with a check and a stamp, caveman stuff compared with how my kids do it with a mouse and a click. I am not sure what happens to them when dinosaurs like me kick the bucket. Who knows, maybe they will reinvent themselves with friendly customer service. I won’t hold my breath.
Growing up I lived in the same house for fifteen years and for all of those years we had the same mailman, an African-American man named Mr. Alexander. Mr. Alexander was part of our community, a man we not only trusted to deliver our mail but someone you kept an eye on everything going on in the neighborhood. He knew more about our family than most of our neighbors did, when we were home, when we were on vacation and when my Dad’s monthly Playboy arrived (he read it for the articles). He was a wealth of information about our neighbors too and loved to gossip with my Mom. He trick or treated in the neighborhood with his grandkids and my mom always baked him some goodies for Christmas. He was a lovely man, part of our family and a wonderful representative for the US Postal Service.
I have no clue who delivers my mail now or when it will get here. My mailbox is on the street so whoever delivers it does it at 35 miles per hour. Sometimes it arrives at three other days well after five. It seems impersonal and inefficient but don’t most things these days.
So while I waited in line, for my wife I shall add again, I talked to my neighbor and caught her up with all the news about my kids. There was a lady standing in front of me who I recognized but couldn’t place her. It obviously came to her quicker than me. We knew each other years ago when she worked for a company I used to do business with. She had aged much better than I had. So I guess it really wasn’t a waste of 45 minutes of my life but it was definitely a waste of at least 15, definitely 15.