All he asked was, “Could you deliver this sometime this morning?”
My husband had packaged up some novels to be mailed to a bookstore.
I had about five errands to run before my ten o’clock appointment, but what the heck, I’m a team player.
“Sure, I’ll make a quick stop at the post office,” I replied, knowing it was never a quick stop there.
I ran a few errands and made my way to the Post Office.
“Please let there be a parking spot,” I mumbled, as I rounded the corner and checked my watch.
There was, but it was on the other side of the street. There was no-where to turn around.
I circled the block like a mad woman and just as I returned a car was pulling in.
I circled the block again. This time there was a spot, but I was going to have to rely on my parallel parking skills, something I avoid whenever possible. I pulled up beside the car and started to reverse, carefully watching the front of the car behind me. I noticed a teenager wearing headphones sitting expressionless and half asleep, watching me. He looked from me to the front of the car behind me, to the rear of my car, and then back to me.
Would you not think he might have given me the wave, you know, like you can back up a little more, or STOP, you’re about to smash into the car behind you?
But, no, he just sat there and watched, taking obvious delight in my dilemma.
Well, I showed him, punk kid. Not only did I get parked, I had about an inch to spare at either end!
I entered the Post Office, and took my spot fourth in line. I was aware of the time slipping by and my 10:00 o’clock appointment.
There were two people working the wickets. One a tough, parcel-swinging woman, who made me jump every time she yelled, “Next!” The other, a rather snooty, stern looking man, with glasses perched low on his nose.
I felt like Elaine in Sienfeld’s Soup-Nazi episode. When the guy with the glasses looked up at me, I quickly smiled and stepped forward.
He looked at my parcel (my husband had packed the books in a M&M’s Chicken Box) and asked gruffly, “Where’s it going? There’s no address on it.”
“My husband said you would be giving me a label,” I replied politely.
He returned with the label, threw it on the counter, and went out back and began throwing boxes.
I pulled the paper with the address from my purse, and along with it came my lipstick, change, hairbrush and keys, spilling onto the counter and floor. I looked behind me and noticed several more people were in line. They weren’t impressed. I quickly threw the things back in my purse.
I slapped the label on the box and realized I had no pen. There was none at my wicket. I looked to the wicket next to me and made eye contact with the customer standing there. We both looked down at the pen in front of her. I glanced up at her again. She glared at me.
I decided to go for it! I made a mad reach for the pen. I yanked it quickly only to realize it was attached by a long cord. Not long enough. I was now in between two wickets, right arm stretched out grasping the pen for dear life, left arm stretching to reach my parcel.
I unfolded the page my husband had written the address on. He had written in HUGE letters knowing I have difficulty reading fine print. It made me smile to think he would remember. I started to fill in the label and realized I couldn’t read a single tiny word on it. Worse, I’d forgotten my reading glasses just as my husband assumed I would.
I was aware of the subtle coughs and jingling of car keys starting to come from the people in line. I tried to speed things up.
I squinted and held the box further away then held it really close. I filled in the label as best I could, (for a blind woman), and the clerk returned.
“I hope this is OK, I forgot my reading glasses and couldn’t see a thing,” I smiled.
“You’re not old enough to need reading glasses,” he said nicely, smiling for the first time.