So you guys sort of know me by now. I’m a nice lady. I love babies and little kids and puppies. I watch shows about unicorns and neighborhood helpers and Scottish Vikings with talking dragons.
I try wicked hard to be appreciative of all the people in my life who are helpful and kind. Thanks, nice grocery store produce guy who always smiles and says hello! So grateful to you, kind stranger who holds the door to the library open for me!
You get the idea.
I work hard to be the kind of person who will have acquaintances come to my funeral just because “She was just such a nice lady!”
But the pandemic has made my efforts to be nice and grateful ever more challenging.
In the first place, I’ve hardly ventured out of this house since March. Sure, I go to the local grocery store, the pharmacy and the (cough, cough) liquor store. But I haven’t been in a position to tip a waitress for months. I haven’t been mingling with strangers or chatting with people I meet around town.
It’s hard to stay tuned in to everyone around me as my circle continues to shrink.
Today I realized that there are people who appear in my life every day, but whom I hardly ever acknowledge.
I’m talking about you, dear beloved local small town mail carrier!!!! In our case, the mail carrier is a woman who leaves doggie treats in the mailbox. She knows the names of all of the dogs and all of the kids on our entire side of town. She is so warm and friendly that my grandkids sometimes use old boxes to play “Laura Brings a Package”!
I used to think I was appropriately thankful for Laura. But now?
Oh, my dears. We are in pandemic mode. We are staying home. We are staying safe.
We are happily embracing the perfect excuse to sit on the couch and order stuff online. I mean, sure, I used to sit on the couch and order online before this whole pandemic thing, but I used to pay at least a little attention to the weight of what I ordered. And to the frequency. And the cost.
Way back in the BC era (before Covid, obvs) I used to feel slightly guilty as I’d click “place order”. I thought that I was a bit too lazy, a bit too entitled, a bit too privileged, if you know what I mean. I’d feel mildly embarrassed as Laura unloaded my small-to-medium-sized packages. And I’d thank her, wave to her, talk to her face-to-face.. Those were the days.
Now things are different.
In the first place, I have shed every semblance of guilt associated with online ordering. Back then I was a lazy old wench. Now? I’m a forward thinking, neighbor protecting, smart woman.
And I have embraced the “no touch” delivery, too. So when my dear friend the mail carrier comes by, I usually let her drop the goodies on our porch. I don’t go out to greet her even though I enjoy chatting with her about music and life and politics and pets. I stay safe in my house. On my couch. With a cup of tea in my hand. Because….Covid.
But yesterday I realized that things have changed. I became aware of the fact that I have officially become an ignorant, selfish old bat who totally takes other people for granted.
I learned this ten minutes after Laura dropped off our “mail” on the doorstep. As she drove up, I relaxed, ignored the delivery, finished what I was doing. Then I casually strolled down the steps and opened the door.
And HOLY FREAKIN’ HEAVY. There was a box the size of a Volkswagon on my porch. And three more packages on top of it.
I was able to bring the top box inside the door, but I had to use both arms to lift the second box and then, after a minute, the one under it. By the time I had brought all three boxes upstairs into my living room, my arms, neck and shoulders were aching. I looked at the giant box outside my door. I tapped it. I pushed it. I tried to rock it back and forth.
I gave up.
It weighed roughly 698,350,287,650,001,293 pounds.
And I’m not exaggerating.
When my young, strong, healthy daughter arrived at my house, the two of us managed to wrestle the giant box into the front door. It only took us about an hour.
We used scissors to get the box open.
Oh, my goodness, hahahahaha! Look at that, I said out loud. Two 25 pound bags of birdseed!
Awesome for the birds. More awesome for me.
NOT so awesome for Laura, the wonderful, kind, hard working mail carrier who I now take totally for granted.
Here I am. Looking for some advice.
What’s a really good Christmas gift for the person who has delivered ten badillion pounds of boxes to Nonni’s house, just so that Nonni won’t have to step out the door?