|"Any Real Mail Today," 5 x 5 acrylic on canvas|
Amazing isn't it, that we still wait for the mail in anticipation.
Especially since most of it heads to the trash before even being opened...ads, scams, politics. There is so little "real" mail, besides bills, cards or packages from people you know, with real handwriting on the envelope.
But even now I listen for the drone of the mail truck heading up and down the street. Most of the time I'm disappointed, and pause at the outdoor trash recycling bin to dump most of it, ripping a few articles open to either take inside, or toss as well.
"Has the mail passed yet?" was a familiar refrain when I was still teaching, faculty coming in to see what might be in their mailboxes.
The only times I dreaded the mail were the years I feared seeing a draft letter from the Selective Service during Vietnam. Though my pulse quickens if I get a letter from the IRS.
And our mail gets thinner, a result of e-mail and changing times. Now instead of writing letters, we pick up a phone and call. E-mail has ceased to be a blessing, flooding our in-boxes with junk, or administrative demands, or computer-generated requests to rate your latest trip to xyz business where you had your oil changed two hours ago. Only its convenience in personal business offsets the irritation and waste of time.
All this makes "real" mail even more special, more anticipated.
That's why we still look forward to real mail every day. Those who gripe about the U.S. Postal Service, or want it to privatize it, are short sighted at best. A reliable postal service--which we have--is one of the characteristics of a successful civilization. Try mailing something here from a remote county on another continent and see how long it takes to arrive, if it does.