Friday, April 3, 2015
Gay of a Certain Age - Mail
As a gay of a certain age, I remember the days before email. Today, I can rest assured that my two email accounts will be chock full of stuff for me to sort through. I dare not put it off, else the task becomes too daunting because letting your email go for two or three days could leave you sorting through 300 or 400 messages to find the ones that actually mean anything to you.
In the old days, you had only one chance a day. If my box didn't have anything in it by 11:00 AM, I knew I was going to have a lonely rest of the day. I felt like this particularly in the summer of 1985, when I was shipped off to Galveston, Texas to babysit my sister's two baby daughters while she worked. I became anxious and looked forward to the daily 2:00 PM mailbox check. Did I get a letter from my mom? Did I get a post card from a vacationing high school buddy? Was there a sale at Penny's? It was an excitement that built as the day wore on and I could barely stand to sit through all of Santa Barbara with out jumping out of my skin. I couldn't worry about whether or not Gina was gonna pull the plug on C.C.'s life support, I had to worry about whether or not the cast of Miami Vice responded to my fan letter! I didn't particularly care for that show, but their fan mail address was easy to find and I wanted someone to write to me! I honestly didn't know who was Crocker or who was Stubbs. On days when there was no mail, I was truly let down. On days when there was a colorful advertisement or coupon I'd be content and stare at it for a few minutes, taking in the comfort it brought me. When there was something in the mail addressed directly to me, I would dance around like Snoopy. I guess being in a strange city, away from everyone you know with no one to hang out with but a one and a two year-old, will do that to you. I loved getting something in the mail- and I swear that is the only reason I subscribed to the International Male catalog. I swear!
Today, even though I may go a day or two without checking my physical mailbox, I still enjoy receiving stuff in the mail. That is why I still send some handcrafted cards through the post office, now and then. I like sending a little happy surprise addressed directly to someone I love & care about, hoping it'll give them a little thrill.
I must confess that the flood of email every day, and the trickle of physical mail that comes has made me a little blasé about what's in my box. Fliers for stores I don't shop at, special offers for cable in Spanish and unneeded insurance offers don't thrill me, although I do get a thrill anytime I get a chance to recycle! I guess I don't appreciate the junk as much as I used to because it's not "just for me." I think I just dislike the incincerity of it all. Every time I get a piece of mail like the one above I think, "If I'm so valued, why don't you know my name?" Still my every day is buoyed by the chance that I will open that box and find a new International Male catalog waiting just for me!