August 7, 2011 by rebelwithalabelmaker
I have never liked mail. I have always found it an intrusion on my life. It piles up and creates clutter in the entry, and I can never seem to get it sorted and to the right people. I tend to feel that people with important things to say use email. So do people without important things to say, but fortunately my spam filters are very good.
No such filters on my mailbox, which inevitably piles up. I have tried various techniques, such as "don't bring it in from the mailbox unless you are ready to deal with it" (doesn't work–my mailbox only holds about a month's mail), or "open your mail over the recycling bin" (I inevitably get distracted by a catalogue, sit down to read it, and absentmindedly set the unsorted pile in the bin), or my personal favourite "dump it all in the drycleaning bin".
Mail is a major contributor to the clutter in our entryway, which is of course the first thing you see when you enter our home (well, currently the first thing you see is a four foot tall caped figure pointing a wand at you and yelling "Avada Kadevera" in a threatening manner, but we're working on that. I tell people "Aveda Kadevera" is French for "Welcome" but so far the body language is giving me away on that one). I was keeping on top of it (the mail, not the killing curse from Harry Potter) for a while, and feeling really good about the lack of mail clutter in the entry. Until I had a very disappointing conversation with Gary a month or two ago.
"My friend from Meadville hasn't gotten the cheque we sent." says me.
"Did you send it by mail?" asks Gary.
"Sure. I'm good with outgoing mail. And I'm getting better with the incoming stuff. Hey, did you notice how clean I've been keeping the entry?"
Pause. Gary is trying to figure out how to tactfully ask me if I'm aware that Canada Post has been on strike for over a month. He's also trying to figure out how I could be so proud that I had "dealt with the mail" without ever being tipped off by the fact that I hadn't actually touched any mail in a month…
This is not the only way that the mailbox has made me look stupid (clearly, the mailbox is at fault in the above scenario). We are having some stonework done on our house. Normally, I wouldn't notice something as insignificant as people sawing apart stone and attaching it to the outside walls, but my sister is visiting and she is a landscape architect so she cares about all kinds of outdoorsey things and regularly cleans up our yard which is very nice. She asks me all kinds of questions about the exterior renovations.
My sister: So tell me more about what's going on out front?
Me: It's not my fault. Stupid Harper legislated the postal workers back to work.
My sister: I meant the guys with the truckloads of stone.
Me: Oh, I don't mind them. They don't put any of that stuff in the mailbox.
Anyways, my sister looks a lot like me, so much so that the stone guys think that she is me. Which is really good because if she wants to know what they are doing to the front of the house she will have to ask them, which works better if they think she hired them. Or she could ask Gary, I guess, who actually did hire them. I'm assuming.
Last week, a stone guy stopped her on the way into the house.
"Ma'am," he says, "We're not sure what to do with this area beside the doorway. If we put the stone up all the way, we'll have to remove the mailbox."
A lengthy discussion ensues, and my sister weighs all of the design elements and the colouring and the architectural whosimicallit, and after much discussion they agree on a new location for the mailbox. She heads inside, well satisfied. Two minutes later, out comes me, uncharacteristically on top of checking for the mail for the day.
"Hey!" says me, "The mailbox moved!"
Stonecutter guys, who still think that my sister and I are the same person (and also that I suffer from great mood swings with regards to how much I care about the look of the front of my house) looks deeply concerned.
"We just discussed this…" he begins nervously.
"Oh, right." I say, smiling, and head back inside. "Sorry, that must have slipped my mind."
I believed him, of course. His was a plausible story. Also, I try to agree with people who are holding those big saws.