When I was a kid, I used to love mail. During summer vacation when I was home all day, it was not an uncommon occurrence for me to actually sit by the front window and wait for the mailman. The mail was full of cool stuff, like catalogs and American Girl Magazine and letters from pen pals (I had several). These days, I can get catalogs on the Internet, magazines on my iPad, and you can’t really call someone a ‘pen pal’ when you type your correspondence rather than using an actual pen. What, then, is the point of mail? To be honest, I’m not really sure, because:
1. Nothing good ever comes in it. Seriously, adult mail is the worst. It’s 90% bills, offers for credit cards you don’t want, address labels from charities you’ll now feel guilty about not donating to (and also you won’t use the address labels because who sends mail?), mail for the last five people that lived at your address, and then seasonally (birthdays and Christmas) you get cards, aka the 10% of mail that doesn’t suck.
2. Sometimes you have to go to the post office to send it. Are you having an okay day that you want to make way, way worse? Go to the post office and try to mail something. The lines are always long, the people in front of you are always mailing weird things to like 18 different places, and shipping always costs way, way more than you think it’s going to. Don’t even try to get around the shipping thing with those flat rate boxes, they will inevitably be exactly the wrong size and shape for whatever you need to send. And don’t get me started on the automated machines and how they make you buy three stamps when you only actually need one, and you know your’e going to lose the other two and have to go to the post office all over again next time you need to actually mail something.
3. Tracking it is never accurate. This is of course not limited to the USPS, but goes for UPS and FedEx as well. One of my pet peeves is getting a shipping confirmation email with a tracking number on it, but when you click the tracking number link, it tells you your package can’t be found. So then you panic, even though you know you’re probably just not in the system yet, but if you aren’t, then why is there a tracking number? And the delivery estimates are rarely accurate and even worse around the holidays when, being a procrastinator, you waited until December 22 to order gifts on websites that promised they’d be delivered by Christmas Eve, but all your package tracking shows things not arriving til the 26th, so you call the person to apologize for your lateness only to hear “Oh, yeah, that package just arrived, you say it’s those slippers I wanted?” and now your surprise gift is ruined (and I didn’t even order anything from Amazon).
4. There is no guarantee your stuff will arrive in one piece. Like if you’re this poor guy. Also, someone once told me you should never label a box “Fragile” because it won’t get treated any differently and sometimes people mess with them just to spite you.
5. The USPS failed to feature Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter stamp collection. As the winner of the “Turned the hottest” award for characters in the movie franchise, I feel he deserves a stamp. Also, where is Arthur Weasley, the only character who would actually care about stamps? Everyone knows wizards use owl post.
Here’s hoping that Amazon starts delivering things via drone soon. Or that someone starts training owls.
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