gratitude-a-thon day 42: the mail

I’m a big texter, a huge emailer, a fervent facebooker, and a once-in-while skyper, and while I’ve yet to twitter, I’ll probably succumb some time soon. But call me old-fashioned, or just call me old, I LOVE TO GET MAIL. The kind that comes in your mailbox, that someone has written. WITH A PEN. I have always been a postal proponent. Give me the guy in the blue uniform and the big sack, and I’m happy.  When I was a kid, I spent a month on the Cape every summer and made lots of friends, who turned into pen pals. Everyday I impatiently waited for a letter from any one of a dozen people. I stalked our little black mailbox with the flip-up top, like a dog stalks a big steak that’s just out of reach.  I would wait for the envelopes with my name. Sometimes they had little hearts over all the i’s, sometimes stickers, or elaborate flowers, or my name in a rainbow of markers, or in a fat and balloon-y font. I loved every moment of the letters, in all sorts of writing that inhabited those envelopes, describing life in other parts. Sometimes there were even photos. That was a red letter day. I kept all the letters housed in their envelopes in my room. Sometimes I re-read them. Sometime I just kept them in a neat little pile for me to gaze at.

Today, fewer letters come, except for Christmas cards, which is like watching the kids of everyone I know grow up in time lapse photography. But I still like the mail. I even like the junk mail. I’m sort of fascinated by what comes to my door. And why. I have been getting Haddasah magazine for the past 6 months, despite the fact that I am not Jewish, do not go to a temple, and never ordered it (btw, I am half Jewish, half Italian/Catholic, but was not brought up practicing anything, but we’ll discuss this further in another post). Recently my husband began getting Wired, which is the last magazine in the world my husband would want, or be interested in. How did he get a subscription? We got Spin for a while, too. I flipped through it sometimes, wondering how in the hell this expensive magazine had my name on it. I even like catalogs (Yes, I am weird.) Some are so beautifully designed, I keep them in my office for reference. Some are ridiculous, and I marvel at the idea or product or presentation. A few are actually useful, offering odd stuff that I might never know existed, if the mail person didn’t bring it to my door.

Riley, my dog DOES NOT LIKE MAIL. He barks at the mail person in a viscious, “i will kill you,” way that is terrifying. (Riley is anything, but terrifying, but admittedly, his bark is that of a dog four times his size.) Here’s the odd part of this. We often have different mail people, and he hates all of them. This is something I just don’t understand. What is it that consistently gets him? Do they have a postal perfume that drives dogs wild? Even if we’re on a walk, he will spot a mail person and go crazy. That means, it’s not just a thing of someone walking up to our house, it’s something else. If anybody has any answers on this topic, fess up. I’m interested.

Anyway, I’m grateful for the mail. I worry about what will happen to the Postal Service in the future. I know they’re planning on ending Saturday delivery, which is kind of a major step. (I mean, there’s nothing like a Saturday night with the Garnet Hill Catalog). I am grateful for those men and women who get out there, like Santa with their sacks, and walk in rain, and snow and sleet, and crazy-kill-you heat, forced to meet up with mean old dogs (like Riley!) just to bring me my mail. Thanks you guys. Despite the fact that you also bring bills, and the depressing Sports Illustrated Bathing Suit Issue every February when I’m my pastiest winter white, I love what you do. Keep it coming Mr & Mrs. Postman.

4 thoughts on “gratitude-a-thon day 42: the mail

  1. Theory on why dogs bark @ the postman/woman: These visitors come to your door but are never invited inside. If you don’t accept these visitors, why should your dog?

  2. Leo does that too-and his absolute nemesis is the UPS guy-any UPS guy, or even any brown truck, or red, white and blue truck….and he will do it on the street, not just in the house too. And he sounds like he will absolutely devour them (when is he is more likely just to shed on them). I tell him it is very cliched, but he has no interest in being outside the box on that one…..

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