Been There, Done That by Laura Nethken

Published:

It was only recently that I noticed that mailboxes are only on one side of the road. I guess that makes sense. We wouldn't want the mail carriers bouncing back and forth on the road like BBs in a boxcar, now would we?

They have enough of a hard time trying to drive from the right side of the car.

I guess I should have realized sooner about the boxes though, since I've never lived where the mailbox was at the end of my driveway. I always had to cross the street to get my mail.

And getting the mail makes me paranoid. Well, slightly because of the cars zinging by, but mostly because of our dogs. I never get the mail when they're outside. I don't want them to see me crossing the street and then think it's an OK thing to do.

Of course, having the mailbox on our side of the road might not be the perfect thing either.

My husband's niece had a full-size, full-slobber St. Bernard named Brandy when she was growing up. And a mailbox at the end of her driveway, which happened to be in a cul-de-sac.

Their mailbox was the first one and right where Brandy sat waiting every day for the mailman to arrive so she could collect her dog biscuit from him.

As he filled their mailbox, she walked to the next box to wait on him. And the next. And the next. Getting a biscuit at every box on the street.

Then back home to wait for the bell to ring signalling the end of the day at the elementary school in the neighborhood. She had to be quick, but was always on time to walk "her girl" home.

Our dogs can't be trusted when they're on the cable in their own yard, let alone wandering the neighborhood picking up the kids from school.

Half the time, it's not worth the trip across the street to get the mail. There's nothing there.

When I first started working at the paper almost 20 years ago, I got mounds and mounds of mail every day. Now, I don't even get mail every day. And if I do, it's usually only one or two pieces. Everything is email these days.

The only person who needs a new box of stationery and a roll of stamps is my dad. If something upsets him or ticks him off, he says, "I'm going to write them a letter." Then later, "They never did answer my letter."

Are you kidding? They probably didn't even read your letter, let alone think about answering it. If you don't have an email address, you're never going to hear from them.

The only time anybody uses "snail mail" is around the holidays, when I'm counting on something arriving on time and it gets massively delayed by the tons of cards and gifts being sent to every corner of the globe.

Or maybe it just depends on what it is. Last month, I mailed in my husband's prescription to the mail order script-filler place and it took more than a week to get there.

About the same time, we applied for a home equity loan. I kind of thought it was a given that we'd be approved. We have plenty of equity in our home.

I was really surprised when we got turned down and completely shocked at how fast.

I called in the application, dropped off the necessary paperwork the next day and got the denial letter in the following day's mail. It brings a whole new meaning to the old line "It's in the mail," doesn't it?

Copyright 2014 Laura Nethken

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