Snail Mail Wail

In my neighborhood we get each other’s mail regularly. This also happens to a friend who lives in a posh suburb in the hills, on a street with only two houses. They get each other’s mail. Go figure.

When I get someone else’s mail, if it’s close by I’ll hand deliver it to their mailbox. I’m afraid to just leave it in our box for the carrier to redeliver the next day. Who knows where it will end up next? On a jet to New Zealand? On a pack mule going to a remote Indian reservation in Arizona?

Mail carriers are delivering precious cargo vital to our lives. They carry birthday cards with money to beloved grandchildren, letters to elderly far-away loved ones who don’t do email, sympathy cards, get-well cards, pride-filled graduation and new-baby announcements, Medicare payments, bank statements, DMV vehicle registration bills…all manner of crucial communications. 

It’s a noble mission. But I see carriers walking around with their cell phones, laughing and talking while absent-mindedly stuffing mail into the wrong boxes. It is distracted delivering! The other day our neighbor Glen, a couple of houses away, went to put some outgoing mail in his mailbox for the carrier. It was important quarterly reporting to the State of California for his construction business.  The carrier happened to be right there delivering his mail, so he handed his outgoing to her. Later that afternoon I picked up our mail and Glen’s was in our box. The carrier had stuck it there instead of taking it to the post office. Such a short walk. You’d think she could have kept it straight for two houses. I don’t think I’ll let her pick our lemons anymore.  

And once my sister-in-law, who lives right up the street from us, found a get well card I had mailed to my second cousin—or tried to—in her bushes. It must have been hastily stuffed into the carrier’s satchel and fallen out.

Some of us have complained to the postal service but we get replacement carriers who do the same things as the ones they replaced. It’s all been another life lesson for me, on the recurring issue of acceptance. Okay, sigh. I’ll just keep returning mail to its proper owners as best I can, and hope to God that our neighbors do the same for us. We just have to have each other’s backs.  


I’d love to go to New Zealand, but not my mail.

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3 thoughts on “Snail Mail Wail

  1. You have my sympathy, Pat. A few years ago our street had the same mailman as yours. At least he had the same propensity to deliver the mail to the wrong address. Once I received the mail for a woman in Oakland! Another time I answered the doorbell to find a neighbor who lives way down the street. She was holding an envelope addressed to me which she had found on the sidewalk in front of her house. This was a dark period, but all the neighbors filed complaints with the main post office and we finally got the best mailman ever. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and your neighbors.

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    • Thank you Anne!! We used to complain but the replacements weren’t much of an improvement. I make Frank give me outgoing things like the Medicare payment and I take all to the box at the Post Office, so at least we have that covered. What you and your neighbors did is quite impressive!

      From: “RELAX, IT ALL WORKS OUT” To: pattorello@sbcglobal.net Sent: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 12:59 AM Subject: [RELAX, IT ALL WORKS OUT] Comment: “Snail Mail Wail” #yiv4512068985 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4512068985 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4512068985 a.yiv4512068985primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4512068985 a.yiv4512068985primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4512068985 a.yiv4512068985primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4512068985 a.yiv4512068985primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4512068985 WordPress.com | | |

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