Monday, December 10, 2007

Why I am Destined to Become an Old Lady Counting out Pennies...

You know the ones. When you're in line at the grocery store, and you have to wait for what feels like an extra 15 minutes because the old lady in front of you is fumbling through her coin purse, counting out $3.50 in pennies. And you want to shoot yourself because you thought this was the shortest line. You picked it to save time. Now you're stuck. Trapped in between the penny counting, orthopedic-shoe-wearing, great grandma and the mom trying to pry her screaming toddler's fingers from the candy display.

Well, folks, I am destined to become that little old lady. I got a taste of my future today as I irritated dozens of customers at the local post office.

It all began with Christmas cards. I send them out every year. Last year, I found an amazing after Christmas deal on a beautiful set of Christmas cards. They were gorgeous, originally quite pricey, and marked down fabulously. I couldn't resist. In fact, my mother-in-law also fell in love with them and bought the same ones.

So. Just before Thanksgiving, when I got the cards out to start addressing, I wasn't too phased when I saw a little label on the envelopes that said "extra postage may be required." After all, I'd saved money on the cards, and "may be required" didn't mean "will be required."

Well, the problem comes with the fact that there were four different styles of cards. This means they were four different weights. I obviously did not keep track of which cards were which as I got them ready to be mailed off. So, today, the gentleman at the post office was only too thrilled to find out that he got to help me weigh EACH ONE to see how much it was going to cost. He ALSO had to slide each one through this little plastic slit to see if it required ADDITIONAL postage on top of the ALREADY more costly postage for weight.

I'm sure the people behind me in line (for we know how delighted all people are to be waiting in line at a post office before Christmas) were ready to kill me.

It ended up taking over an hour to get through the post office. And, I'm not so sure I saved too much money by buying my cards on sale at the end of last Christmas. Some of those babies cost me 75 CENTS to send! 75 CENTS!!!

So, if you get a Christmas card from me with a Valentines day stamp, or one with a horrid portrait of Harriet Beecher Stowe, instead of a pretty Christmas one, please know it is not because I don't love you. It is because I'd already held up zillions of people, and did not want to become know as the old, penny-counting lady while still in my youth. It was much faster to buy the stamps with the exact postage, rather than add 2-3 more stamps on top of the pretty Christmas ones.

On a brighter note, I've never encountered such a helpful, kind, postal employee before. Usually, asking a postal worker to go out of their way to help you is like death. So, thank you for your patience, Mr. Postman. Even though you made fun of me for how much it cost me to send my Christmas cards this year when you told me my total, without you, I would have been completely lost today.


  1. Ok that is so funny. I can totally see you standing there at the counter with each individual card. Sorry it took so long, but I guess you have learned your lesson, cheaper isn't always better!

  2. Oh, that is sad and funny at the same time. I have come to detest the post office. At my last job I seriously had to wait in the line every single day. It was wretched. Now, I avoid it at all costs. Luckily, I have a mail machine here in my office, so as long as I'm in this office, I'll hopefully never have to step foot inside the Post Office. I'm glad you had a nice postal worker though, that must have made things a lot better.


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