Teen Angel is anxiously awaiting a game she ordered off the internet. It’s supposed to arrive via UPS within five to seven days. We’re on day seven. Please God let that game come soon. She is driving me crazy, worrying over that package. I know how she feels, though. I love getting mail, especially packages.
I really liked getting mail when I was a kid. I guess that’s because I didn’t get much of it. That made it special. Every once in a while I got a letter from my cousin, Kim. She was a Yankee from the Chicago suburbs, so it seemed like she lived a world away. For a couple of years we traded letters extolling the virtues of Shaun Cassidy and Peter Frampton and debated which was better, “Happy Days” or “Welcome Back Kotter”. (Just for the record, I voted for “Welcome Back Kotter”. Come on. Everybody knows Vinnie Barbarino beats “The Fonz”.) My favorite kind of mail was those toys you ordered from a box of cereal or the back of a comic book. Do kids still do that? Probably not, but for my generation and a couple before me, it was a big deal to order something like that even though the item was usually pretty disappointing when you got it. You’ve seen the scene in “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie checks the mail box every day for his Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring. When he finally gets it, his excitement is crushed by his discovery that it’s just an advertising gimmick for Ovaltine. I think anyone who is 35 years old or older has had that kind of experience.
Hubby remembers saving his pennies to order sea monkeys only to get them dead on arrival. I ordered plastic Freakies characters from a box of Freakies cereal. What? You don’t remember Freakies? That’s because it was the Edsel of cereals. It failed because three children in Iowa and me were the only ones who ate it. It took FOREVER for that package to arrive, and the characters were about a third the size I thought they would be. Their arms didn’t bend either. What’s your mail order shame? Come on. Don’t be ashamed. Everyone has a little sea monkey in his past.
These days when I get mail I have a system for opening it. A UPS Box gets opened in the driveway. Yippee!! A goodie for me. Colorful envelopes are next. They usually hold a card or invitation. Sigh. It’s nice to be wanted. Catalogs and sale flyers follow. 40% off at J.C. Penney’s? Yeah! The bills are last. What?! The gas bill is $40 higher this month? As Ralphie would say, “Skunked again”.
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