Irrational

Bringing in the mail is like listening to voice mail messages or checking the numbers on your lottery ticket. It’s just plain something you have to do, even though the preponderance of evidence from previous experience tells you that bad news is far more likely than good in all the examples listed.

Our mailbox is one of those big, square communal affairs. It’s fairly close to our condo, and located so that I drive right by it on the way to our garage. Because I am basically lazy at heart, I usually park the car next to the boxes and grab the mail, rather than park by the garage and walk back to get it. It’s one of those daily chores that I tend to do sooner rather than later because then it’s over and done with.

The Professor has always made fun of me for making it a point to grab the mail at the earliest possible convenient time. He’s all but accused me of being anal about it. I’ve tried to ignore this because I *think* he’s mostly teasing. I know that I bring the mail in ten times to his one; part of this is because I tend to get home before him, but even when he’s first home he seldom gets it. Indeed, he’s content to wait days before wondering about the mail. So while I think he’s mostly teasing, I also know that there’s a kernel of truth regarding his accusations that I’m a little mental when it comes to picking up the mail.

Saturday he and I were returning to the house. I was driving, and when I turned into our complex I said I wanted to just pull over for a second to get the mail. The sigh he let out was loud enough to momentarily drown out small screaming children and low flying jets passing immediately overhead simultaneously. I took the hint and kept on driving, though I also believe I muttered some sort of martyred version of “Oh, nevermind,” as I passed by the mailboxes.

Later the next day the Prof presented me with the mail. I can’t explain it, but this little thermonuclear warhead went off between my ears as he handed me my envelopes. I got the impression he thought he’d just done some very clever favor for me. I believe he’d gotten the mail as an act of contrition, but the paranoid part of me still interpretted it as one last opportunity to remind me that I was an obsessive-compulsive tool who had to get the mail in or I’d get the postal D.T.’s. The mentally unstable part of my mind thought to itself that he went out of his way to get the mail so I wouldn’t start shaking and picking invisible bugs off myself. I didn’t say anything at the time, just thanked him and took the stuff addressed to me.

Yesterday, when I got home, I couldn’t bring myself to stop at the mailbox. I apparently had something to prove, though I couldn’t tell you if I was proving it to myself or to the Prof. Today, the same thing. I just drove right past it. After I came in and fed the cats tonight I realized … I’m on strike.

Getting the mail is no longer my job.

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7 Comments

  1. My son’s USPS OCD beats yours, mailbox flags down! He actually walks to the post office (it’s close by) up to four times per day, "…just to check and see…" what’s in the post office box. He often does it out of boredom.

  2. haha! At my house it annoys me to no end that hubby and son like to do fancy car moves just to get the car close enough to the mailbox, rather than walk over to get the mail. And our mailbox? It’s right at the end of the yard. I can walk there faster than they can maneuver the car.

    But then… I could leave the mail there for days. It’s only bills and junk mail anyway. It depresses me to look at it. 🙂

  3. And another comment just to say!!!! It’a a happy, happy day. I had no idea you were writing here again until I saw your comment. Now I’ll have to go back and catch up. I’m sooooo glad you are writing!

  4. Oh thank The Gods, I’m in good company. I’m a total freak about the mail. I absolutely have GOT to get it ASAP. My mailman must think I stalk him, lol.

    R never attempts to get the mail. Not even when he used to get home from work earlier than I did. I was gone to a conference once for a week and he forgot to check the box the whole time I was gone *rolls eyes*

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