It's Time to Check the Mail Bag

As my husband will tell you, I love mail. Junk mail, bills, letters, catalogs. The more the better.

But, sometimes, admittedly, I'm taken back a bit by what people write to me.

For example, this excerpt from a recent handwritten letter from Westfield.
"God loves sinners, even you." Okay. Thank you. Did you mean that?

Another recent letter, that I'm not going to answer, started with."Is there a certain emptiness in your life?" Sorry, Darlene, who signed the letter. I don't know you; you don't know me. And if indeed, as you say, "Hell is a reality," I don't need your help getting there. Further, trust me, my life is not empty.

There are other letters I don't know what to do with. "I'm looking for a career change and thought you could help." Help what? Get you a job? What do you want to do? Do you have any earthly skills? Why haven't you worked in seven years?

Mutant Watch 2000. "Dear friend. As many of you know, recent events in the media have helped draw attention to an alarming problem (blah, blah, blah)Genetically enhanced individuals, commonly known as mutants, are a recent but growing phenomenon." Mutant Watch 2000 even sent a tape. Which I didn't watch.

Shades of the guy who reminded me about the "invisible rebel angels."

Or this letter"The Investment Management Institute is delighted to invite you to attend its upcoming Public Funds Defined Contribution Roundtable(blah, blah, blah)supplemental savings program at CalPERS." Huh?

The envelope I didn't open, with a message on the cover (make that plain brown envelope) that defined "fisting" (trust me, you don't want to know) and included a tape of Department of Education employees (allegedly) describing the pleasures of homosexual sex. I didn't listen to that, either.

From Iowa"Here's the latest on our 40th reunion, July 28 to 31." I can't be that old. Can I? And the legislature is in session. How can I miss it?

"Technically, the Sons of Norway were outlaws," was included in another piece of correspondence. Seems they were having illegal potlucks in Minnesota. Shades of my jello memories at St. Luke's Lutheran Church basement! And, did you know, that that conglomeration of broccoli and chicken and white liquid is really called Episcopalian Chicken?

Bureaucratic gobbledygook. "We wish to offer you information supplemental to the presentation previously forwarded from this office. This additional information is integral to illustrate.(Blah, blah, blah)." Why not just say, "Here's some more important information."

"June is Rivers Month."

"June is Portuguese American Month."

"The MCAs system is working"

"I am very concerned about the present program of MCAs testing"

Gone. All gone. Read or trashed or.just gone. Dead, done, gone.

Still awaiting my attention. A report on "Claims Against Lead Paint Manufacturers Illustrate a Coming Wave of Mass Tort Litigation." No, make that gone, too.

I read the "Report Card on American Education." I just don't know what to do with it. The May edition of "State Government News." I'm not too far behindbut I can't find April.

Waiting. On the floor behind my desk. The 1999 annual report on "Land Acquisition & Protection Program," "Department of Medical Assistance Report on Orthopedic Footwear Benefits" that begins "omnibus ad quos praesentes literae pervenerint, salutem," and a large envelope marked "lunch" (I only hope it's not edible, it's been there a long time, and I'm afraid to look).

Also waiting. A report on phone numbers available to "fuel the state's robust economy and to serve swelling demand" and a report on "frequently asked questions about area codes." Also, the Handbook on the Legal Rights of Minors, a Handbook for Parents of Children Committed to the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, a Catalog of Uniforms. And a digest of motor laws in every state.

Just for starters. On my desk and also awaiting attention, there's a catalog of steaks, a business card from the Motor Freight Carriers that I can't remember what I'm supposed
to do with it, the phone number of the guy to call the next time my computer crashes, a fistful of tickets for the chamber raffle at the pancake breakfast, an invitation from the Society of Landscape Architects, a fact sheet on oral health, information on what to do in case you're having a heart attack, a note to call Taylor Rental so they can send me a bill for the ladder my husband rented to put up a Cele Hahn sign, and a $3.50 rebate for buying aspirin.

I think I'll go take one.

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