One of my favorite childhood memories was opening up the mailbox at my grandmother’s house. I’m not sure why I found it so thrilling, but there was something about they way her mailbox exploded with letters, newspapers, and catalogs that I looked forward to.
The mailbox used to be a source of personal news and interaction and it’s all but been abandoned in favor of email, text messages, and instant messaging. In some ways I think we’re more connected than ever before, but in other ways it’s sad that when we pick up the mail today, there’s rarely anything we actually want to open and read.
It makes me wonder about the role of the mail man, I guess to be politically correct, I should say mail carrier. Dating as far back as the Pony Express, the postal service played a big role in keeping families and loved ones connected through letters and postcards. If you think about it, it was a very important role.
This past week, my mail consisted of:
- Coupons for things I never buy
- Humpty Dumpty – the children’s magazine, which was addressed to me and not to “Current Resident” (no clue)
- Reader’s Digest (large print) – no idea why I started to receive this publication
- A credit card offer
- A reminder to renew a subscription for a magazine that I cancelled more than 2 years ago
- 2 Community newspapers – which I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to cancel
- New insurance cards
And last but not least, a piece of direct mail, promoting a great deal on new windows. It was addressed to the gentleman who lived here 3 residents ago; “or current resident.” Needless to say, it went straight into the recycle bin.
If I were a mail carrier, I think it would make me sad to deliver mostly unimportant and often-times unwelcome news instead of birthday cards, personal letters, and postcards from vacationing friends or relatives.
Yesterday I finally finished addressing Christian’s graduation announcements and put them in the mail box. I raised the little red flag to alert the mail man that there was outgoing mail. I hope that when he opened the mailbox and saw something other than a Netflix envelope it made him smile and feel his job is important.