Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Going Postal

Hipee called me the other day while she was at the post office. I could hear all the post office noise in the background. It reminded me of how much I used to be scared of the post office. Really. This was long before the term “going postal” entered the lexicon and people had a reason to be cautious around postal workers. I’m not sure exactly why I didn’t like post offices. There was never a bad experience at one; I just blindly loathed them all with an equal intensity.

The fear came out when I was old enough to be sent running into places on errands by my mother. She’d send us into all sorts of stores or businesses to do things like drop off a utility payment, pick up groceries… or get stamps. Once we were driving, it was worse. She’d send Hipee and me off on errands. We’d go to the grocery store with her list and a signed, blank check. (You could do that in a small town back in those days.) I can remember us looking at her list, seeing a word that looked like a swear word, giggling over it, and then puzzling out what mom could have wanted that looked like _____ but was surely something else.

Running to the store or doing other errands for mom was annoying, but not like running into the post office. She knew I hated it. She knew I couldn’t explain why I hated the post office. Maybe it was the lobby, or the lines, or…? I have no explanation. I just know I hated the place and really had to gird my loins, so to speak, to go inside and do my business. If it was even remotely possible, I’d argue that Hipee should be the one to go in, or even Whiy.

Now that I’ve been in so many different post offices across the country, the fear is gone. There might be a wee little remnant of it stored in some dark corner of my mind. It tries to peek out when the lines are too long, there is only one employee helping customers, and I have multiple things to mail. Maybe when younger I had some sort of foresight and could sense that some of the employees had the capacity to go postal. I do know that going paperless is very attractive to me. I am also a huge fan of the Forever stamps. When I have to go to the post office today, I load up on those babies.

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