For the love of mail

I round the corner with a bounce in my step, anticipation rising like helium. Effervescent, I twirl awkwardly to avoid smacking into the person coming around the corner towards me. Humming absently, I reach out my hand; I am a diver searching for submerged treasure, a knight pursuing the Holy Grail.

I float away with a size-of-Texas grin stretched across my face and my prize clutched proudly in my hands. My feet do an odd little half-skip, refusing to be grounded. For a moment, I am standing in the light; for a moment, the day is transformed into something beyond the ordinary. I live for moments like this, whether highly anticipated or completely unexpected.

The joy I feel when I receive a letter or (especially) a package in the mail is pure and– I’ll be honest– ludicrous, or at the very least, disproportionate to the event. I don’t care: I love getting the mail.

At home, I am the family’s (self)appointed mail retriever. I dart buoyantly across the street to our mailbox and eagerly comb through ads, bills, free newsletters, and catalogs to get to letters, Netflix, crafting magazines, and birthday cards. My family laughs at me for this; my mom is concerned about what exactly I am waiting for. Most days, I am waiting for nothing in particular, and most days, I receive nothing in particular. But oh, those wonderful shining moments when something arrives for me! A postcard from a friend, a note from my grandpa, a letter of acceptance; it all sets me walking on sunshine. Email is convenient, but nothing compares to a paper letter, something from a loved one to physically hold onto, to open, read, and reread.

Here at school, there’s no one to witness my obsession with checking the mail, so I have to monitor myself. I’m not allowed to check the mail more than once per day… unless I’m waiting for something important (gotta love a loophole). At school, I get an email when a package arrives, which helps to curb my impulses. When you have a package! pops up in my inbox, I have to go see what it is immediately: is it the book I ordered? the tea? a care package from home?

What I love most about mail is the inherent hope in checking for a letter or package. Mail could bring a love letter, a check for a million dollars, an accepted manuscript, a note from an old friend… What is more hopeful than checking the mail day after day (if you’re as obsessed as me) and looking forward to what could come, despite the too-real possibility of getting bills, or nothing at all?

This week I got a letter, a care package, and the tea I ordered! Living the dream.

This week I got a letter, a care package, AND the tea I ordered! Living the dream.

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