I am a friendly person…this is an inherited trait, passed down from many generations of Southern women who know what is best, how everybody should act, and how they should conduct themselves in the presence of others. This leads me to question the conduct of one USPS mail carrier in my new hometown in Arkansas who visits my mailbox every single day at 2:35p.m. We will call her Mail-eficent. She is dang unfriendly. I mean…openly hostile. “Carrie is totally overblowing this,” you say. I give you Exhibits A and B (and while other examples exist, these are representative). Most of the time when I try to engage Mail-eficent to thank her, she just ignores me. But in these instances, not so much.
Exhibit A: We have lived in this house for approximately 18 months. We are new to the state of Arkansas…we’re still in the South, where people should be unfailingly friendly, right? Wrong. Last December, I popped my head out the front door after Mail-eficent delivered a package. “Merry Christmas! Thank you!” I shouted as she climbed into her jeep. She took one look at me and said, “Clean that dang ice offa your porch. I just about killed myself and I could sue you.” Charming. She sped away, all my happy thoughts of having a blissfully sweet connection with my mail carrier now lost.
Exhibit B: Mail-eficent doesn’t pick up the mail I’m sending out. Ever… In her defense, the red flag on our bricked mailbox had broken off before we moved in. I have tried to replace it with three different flags, each of which crumpled to the ground in defeat when they saw Mail-eficent coming. I now prop up the mail I’m sending out inside the mailbox and have resorted to respectfully pinning an “outgoing” post-it on the mail to help her along. That hateful woman will STILL leave my outgoing mail in there a day or two before she picks it up. Ugh.
All this would not be so bad if not for the mail carrier I left behind in Tennessee. We lived right outside of Nashville and had the sweetest woman ever delivering our mail. She would always talk, no matter what. She watched our kids play in the cul-de-sac and waved to them each day. And by God, that sweet lady actually yelled out her jeep window that she had cheered me on when I was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune (a story for another day). But, people, she knew my name (even though we weren’t personal acquaintances). And cheered me on. AND she told me she called all her relatives that night because the girl whose mail she delivered was spinning the Wheel, and they’d better watch and cheer her on. Seriously, y’all. That’s who I left. And now I’m dealing with Mail-eficent.
I don’t ever want to speak ill of anybody, although in the South we can do that as long as we “bless their hearts” first. Even worse, I vacillate between making fun of Mail-eficent forever and winning her the hell over, which is a specialty I try to perfect whenever I encounter particularly nasty human beings. I sincerely want to make them be nice to me…it’s a thing with me. Anyway, I will keep readers posted on The Tale of Mail-eficent. She’d better start saying hi, or no Christmas tip, honey. Bless. Her. Heart.