I have a post office box that I share with Mom. We’ve had the post office box for close to 20 years now because Mom lives out in the boonies and, about 20 years ago, she got a new mail carrier who was, shall we say, not exactly enthusiastic about his job. And so it was that we started having a lot of problems with various people calling us up and demanding to know why we hadn’t paid a bill or returned a letter or whatever.
Discussions with the local postmaster revealed to us that it was a hopeless endeavor and that perhaps the federal government might want to consider putting more emphasis on competence rather than the mere requirement of a high school diploma for hiring purposes. So we rented an official post office box at the post office in town — meaning Visalia, not the itty-bitty place that calls itself a town where Mom actually lives.
Well, a couple months ago now, a little old lady drove through our post office. Yup. She was parking in front of the lobby and hit the gas instead of the break. The post office has a really cool photo of her car sitting in the lobby. Fortunately, it happened just before the post office opened and there were no injuries — except to the post office. The lobby has been closed for several weeks now while they slowly rebuild it.
This means that it is now very pleasant to go get my mail, since there’s always parking available and the post office is nice and quiet. But, last week, right before taking Mom to Stanford for her surgery, when I picked up our mail on a short break between clients, I found a yellow tag in the box indicating that there was an item that had to be retrieved by the post office staff. The single window remaining open for such tasks had a line that was longer than the amount of time I had left to get back to work. So Mom and I pondered over what the item might be over the weekend.
I finally was able to get back to the post office and pick up my mystery package yesterday.
The first thing I noticed was that it was a 9” x 6” padded manila envelope. The second thing I noticed was that it was from NAILS Magazine. What would they be sending me? Could it be the keys to a new Mercedes as a token of gratitude for my fabulous contributions? Maybe tickets to an exotic island resort? Of course, I ripped it open as soon as I got in the car!
It was a card. It says, “Merry Christmas.” And down in the very, very bottom crease of the envelope was a tiny little something all wrapped up in decorative paper. A GIFT! The excitement of a gift always overshadows the perplexity of why I’m getting a Christmas card in March. I unwrapped my gift and looked at it. Huh? It’s very tiny. Is it some sort of ingeniously encased nail file? Is it a nail-safe can-opening device? It says “NAILS Magazine” on it, and it has a little spot where you can put it on your keychain. Very cool swag — I just didn’t know what it was. So I pulled the cover off of it. OH! It’s a jump drive! How very clever! How did they know! But wait! Why am I getting a Christmas card in March? Did they just find it in the office and say, “DOH! We forgot to send Maggie’s card?”
No. The postmark clearly states that this packet was mailed on December 15, 2008.
So, THANKS NAILS MAGAZINE! But since it took so long to find me, I’m really glad you didn’t send me a puppy!