Dear Mr. or Ms. Postal Delivery Worker, a.k.a. Mailman/Mailwoman:
It is February. It can’t be a pleasant month for you. Riding in a vehicle whose heat-holding powers appear relatively low, and then repeatedly opening the window to let in more cold air cannot be fun. Delivering perfumed pink and red cards dripping with glitter must be horrible, especially if you have allergies or wear anything that glitter sticks to, like fleece.
There are more dead skunks on the road, so the odors wafting in with each stop must be loathsome. And dogs left out in the cold are cranky and probably more willing to bite than in their usual pre-programmed-anti-mailman state. I feel your pain.
So I am writing this open letter of apology for contributing to that pain.
It is February. It is not a pleasant month for me either, or for the many high school and college seniors, or the unintentional-gap-year students like myself.
We are waiting desperately to hear our fate spoken by the college and graduate admissions committees. Most of them choose to communicate with us via the U.S. Postal Service.
We may appear threatening in our ragged sweatshirts and too-tight jeans, crouching behind the row of mailboxes when you drive up. But we are generally harmless. Just place any envelopes with an academic return address in the box and back away slowly. You’ll be perfectly safe, unless you bury the letter in a sheaf of advertisements or begin to put it in the wrong box. I promise.
If it’s good news, we might even shake your hand. Or give you a hug through the window of your very cold postal vehicle. If it’s bad news, you may want to come back later to finish putting the mail in the boxes. A kick to your hubcap probably won’t hurt it, but we wouldn’t want you to face a lawsuit over our broken toes.
So we ask your patience. February will soon be over. And March. And after April 15, you will see us no more, with the exception of a few poor souls who were waitlisted.
Thank you, dear, kind Postal Worker. Come back soon. And consider flying a blue flag on the days that you are carrying that ill-fated envelope. It will give us a running start to snatch the letter from your hand as you drive past, and the color will look beautiful with your eyes.
A Well-Meaning Haunter of the Mailbox