Wednesday, May 09, 2007

41 Cents

Jarrah is sick again, a scant two weeks since her last fever extravaganza. She's already missed one day of school, and today she threw up while she was taking her nap. She threw up twice more while I was trying to clean it up. I'm guessing she'll miss the other day, too. I'm trying to do the responsible thing by plying her with fluids and keeping her inside, away from other children. However, I am accomplishing these goals with a gross of Capri Suns from Wal Mart and far more than the recommended daily allowance of Elmo.

I did get out to the dentist today. That was relaxing, at least. I planned--six months ago--to go when Jarrah was in school. I once tried to reschedule an appointment and they offered me another in 2008. So, David had to be late for work.

On the way there, I stopped at our local post office to mail a package. I belong to a Yahoo! group for people who have adopted from the Chongqing Children's Home, and one of the members is collecting photo collages of children who once lived at the orphanage, to put in a book which she’ll mail to the Home. Another member posted that when she visited, the CCH director proudly displayed the books from previous years. It's a very sweet idea, and I feel guilty that I've missed the original deadline by nearly two weeks. Luckily, a recent post suggests that there is a whole mess of other slackers like us. So I think we'll make it in.

The post office was peaceful on a Tuesday morning, and the line was short. I made a mental note to ask for a book of stamps. These days, a mental note does not suffice; I must also mentally underline the note with a green highlighter several times, and then thumbtack it to my frontal lobe. So I was busy focusing as I approached the man behind the counter. I gave him my package, and said:

"I just heard in line that the postal rate is going up--"

"You JUST heard? Where ya been? Under a rock?"

"Um...hanging out with a two-year-old?"

"It's been in the paper. It's been on the news. There have been notices everywhere."

"Okay. When does it go into effect?"

"You really don't know?"

"No." I had an urge to apologize, but stifled it.


"Yikes, I guess I need some stamps then."

He whipped out a little black book of stamps, seemingly from his pocket, but probably not. "You see these? They're good forever. Even if the postal rate goes to 50 cents, you can use them. They will always be good."

I waited for him to explain how to peel the sticky bit off the backing, affix it to the top-right corner of the envelope, and then think real hard about what to put in there. But he didn't. He was done with me.

Where is our friendly, neighborhood post office? I wanted to say to him. Didn't I wave to you on a float at Spring Fest? Didn't you throw us candy? What has changed?

I hung my head and slunk away in shame. I live under a rock. If only they'd done a feature on the postal rate change in US Weekly, I'd have been on top if it. If only Britney Spears had worn a T-shirt with the new stamp on it. Alas, no. I need to get out more, or at the very least, watch more TV.

In related news, I was apparently vague about how Spring Fest got its new alias. We told Jarrah we were taking her to Spring Fest, and she said "Beef Fest, yay!" And we tried really, really, really hard not to repeat that, but we failed.


Jenn said...

I must live under a rock too. I had no idea that stamps were going up. Better get this letter that has been stamped in the mail before then! It's gonna be a toss up between stamp prices and gas prices when mailing something local... I wonder which will be cheaper!

Amy said...

I love the description of your post office encounter. From a fearless perspective, I invite you to revisit our discussion of top life priorities and values. Perhaps this is an opportunity to celebrate the fact that the state of postal affairs did not make it to the top of your list! Hooray for you!
Please give all my love and healthy vibes to your little Sweet Pie and I am sending a hug your way as well! Be gentle with yourself this week...sick toddlers are a truly noble priority indeed!

Anonymous said...

Aha! Sorry I missed the discussion of the origin of "Beef Fest." I feel much better now.


And I live under a rock, too!

Miss J

Anonymous said...

Hi, from under ther rock...too.

Best, Gail

Anonymous said...

Hope she is better soon! When a visit to the dentist is "relaxing," then your day is too stressful. :) lix

Martha said...

Scoot over, Sam. Andrew's under that rock with you. Over breakfast this morning, he was all agog about the stamp hike. It was funny. He should be reading tonight...

Glad Miss Jarrah is better. She sure gave her Tia a scare. Call me next time you are stuck at Childrens. I'll bring a change of clothes and much better vittles. And, a hug.