We all know what the words “going postal” mean but what is the term for avoiding the post office? It might not even be the post office, as much as it is a bit of extreme separation anxiety experienced from sending mail. Not all mail, or not all mail, all the time. There are times when I mail certain pieces of correspondence with haughty disregard or aloofness. A prepaid pre-postaged, pre-printed response, typically gets mailed with little thought.
So, is it the printing, or the free mailing that I can cope with or feel somewhat entitled to? No, I don't think so. I typically buy stamps or have them nearby without much to do, or ado. Sometimes there is a bit of a frenzy at finding them in one pocket, purse or pile of ephemera. But that appears to be my unique system of locating items of varied nature. At times finding keys or lotion in the freezer or garage shelf as I was distracted along the way. Anthropologists assigned to my historical artifacts will surely wonder or make way-off hypotheses about eating rituals and daily life from these findings.
I am not long-scarred from the original “postal” crime scene. I am not particularly concerned about the “uni-bomber”, or the anthrax scare. I like the post office. It is the one place left from days gone by that remains in tact and still in use, although much less so. The post office in my own town is quaint. It could easily be recreated in a Williamsburg Village-type theme park. There are murals painted on the walls that were commissioned during FDR's reign in an attempt to put this country back to work. A scene depicting early life in this 400 year old village covers the expanse of the room. Exposed beams and a wooden door that may have been culled from wood remains of "The HalfMoon" add to the historical ambience. Ok, I am sure they weren't culled from Henry Hudson's sailing vessel but I am an adventurer at heart with admiration of historical artifacts and perhaps a tad like Junie-B-Jones in, and with, my imagination. I do like the post office, second to an old fashioned bakery, and that's big, for me.
We've ruled out the building, the terror-associated with, and the cost of stamps. I am left with two possibilities but there might be more. First, adventure. Risk-taking behavior. Yes I know, I said mail and risk taking, not skydiving and risk taking or pharmaceutical chemicals and risk taking. We all have our crosses to bear. It sometimes works like this-I need to get something to someone else by a certain date. A bill, a greeting card, an important time-sensitive document. There is pressure, there is control, pressure, control. Thrilling, dontcha think? How close to the wire can I go? It does become exciting. I don't recommend it to everyone and certainly travel, a ride in a fast car, an amusement park, an adventure movie and even, skydiving are generally viewed as exciting, but I'm not your regular cup of joe-I need a little more, or less in the way of excitement. And there is the built in punitive risk of late fees or letting someone down on their special day. Rewards and punishment-just what risk-taking is all about, No? I am one of those empty gas tank drivers too. I've gotten better, but only recently and I still know how far into the reserve tank section of the fuel mileage meter I can drive on my way home from work, sometimes.
The other possibility is more to do with departure and delivery. This one has become a bit more of a possibility for me of late. In early child development it is akin to the fear of going potty-losing a bit of yourself into this great unknown universe. Irrational, sure, but don't we all suffer from some irrational thoughts and fears? A few times this year I have needed to mail different items to my son, far away in New Orleans. And recently I wanted to send a care package to my daughter in Albany. Each time I blew it. They did get what I wanted them to have but my son's items were a tad late and my daughter's package was hand delivered. They miss the joy and thrill of snail mail and sealed with a kiss packages of love. (I have done the same with a few long distance birthday greetings for years.) I don't want to admit they are not within hugging distance and I also have been struggling with my knack for typically being reliable and responsible- I am relaxing a bit and the mail is a safe place to let go, but I have had this trouble for a much longer time, to be honest. Just maybe, somewhere deep in my subconscience underpinnings, I may just imagine if they really want what I have, they will find a way back to it. Genius, Right? Ok-they haven't had the need and have decided to just chalk up another little piece of mother-quirk into their own deep subconscience minds.
It may be worth noting that I can't wrap my mind around radio-waves and music being sent from one location and being caught by transistor radios far and wide. Why does Federal Express operate by mailing a package from one small neighborhood to a city hundreds of miles away before shipping it yet again to a town not 80 miles from the original location? How does my personal mail get from my heart and soul all the way to my children without a hug and a kiss reaching out to them, without the scents of dinner cooking or the promise of a kiss good-night? How the heck did they grow up so fast and why is the Post-Office involved in this new conspiracy? I will get to the bottom of it, and when my garbage bill comes I will dream of sending all of my love and care to the kind receptionist who deals with my panic filled plea for assuring that I have sent payment since the last threatening letter warning me about service disruption. Maybe she can explain my sense of adventure and thrill seeking to the Village Clerk who has handled my water bill all of these years.
Attention-seeking? Three letters from the waste management company as opposed to the one that everyone else gets? Hmmm.....Nah, that's just silly.