Who doesn’t love mail?
Sure, you can find a lot of crap in your mailbox — bills, advertisements, newsletters from your Congressman — but the idea that a handwritten letter might be in there draws you to check the box the first minute the postman, er, letter carrier, steps away from the porch. Or curb. Or vast bank of bland letterboxes.
Email might preoccupy us the same way we used to obsess about snail mail, but the yearning to discover “you’ve got mail” is more intense for a delivery that comes only once a day.
As my postmistress was weighing letters for me this morning, I told her how much I appreciate her. The post office here is as little as the village, and thank goodness, it’s not in danger of closing like thousands of other little post offices across the country as the U.S. Postal Service overhauls its operation to cut costs. We’re notorious customers in Hampshire. My commercial insurance agent husband sends and receives enormous envelopes of paperwork almost every day. We use mail-stops regularly, sometimes for weeks at a time, and when we were traveling in the South earlier this year, we used the mail forwarding service which shipped our missives to us — wherever we were — once a week. And our preoccupation with eBay forces our carrier to step out of his vehicle to place the latest deal on our porch on a near daily basis. We’re the kind of customer that wrings every penny out of those stamps.
Who else delivers items of almost any size to your door six days a week for as little as 44 cents? Brown comes close, but I can’t send birthday wishes via UPS unless I include a gift. For goodness sake, it takes $3 plus a tip to get our Chinese food delivered from the Iron Wok a mile away. The envelopes I mailed today will be in New York by Saturday morning (find out what I mailed on my other blog about my book aspirations). I can hardly drive to New York in two days.
While some people might decry the postal service as going the way of the dinosaurs, I am not among them. I will miss Tuesday or Saturday delivery should the USPS decide to cut back. The people who work at the post office really work, unlike some government bureaucrats I’ve encountered, so postage is one “tax” I’m more than willing to pay.
One last note to this rant: The people who complain the loudest about how the only mail in their mailboxes is junk might look in the mirror before they look into their empty letterbox. If you’re not receiving handwritten letters, you’re probably not writing them either.