I used to love to get mail. It started at a very young age. When Dad would come home after visiting our P.O. box and started reading the mail and at times give a letter to my mother, and I found them so engrossed in what they got in the mail. I figured that this was important. Sometimes after they had read it, they would save it. At a very early age I would ask if there was anything for me and when Dad would inevitably say no, and I would go marching off disappointed.
During my grade school years I used to save “Bazooka Joe” gum wrappers because you could send them off for prizes. (Does anybody remember Bazooka Joe? The two main bubble gum companies were DoubleBubble and Bazooka Joe. I would wait and wait, and wait . . . for a letter to come from Bazooka Joe. It was usually just a trinket worth about zero cents. But it was mail and it was addressed to ME! Whenever I found a letter to addressed just to me, it made me feel important. It was my personal property!
I find it almost painful that the computer has taken over so much of our lives. Messenger and email are quick and I use them all of the time. It is great to have almost instantaneous feedback but there is nothing like having a friend take the time to write a letter.
When I went to college, I was so glad when there was mail in my box. I guess my favorite was the letters from my dad. He had all of the pertinent family news, told me how my old high school was doing in the sports world, and usually contained a ten or twenty to keep me solvent.
More and more, I grew to be apathetic and disappointed with the mail. When I received nothing but bills, junk and people who want me to donate, I become somewhat jaded. I began thinking of other mail that brings nothing but bad news. You can usually tell from the first sentence that nothing good is going to follow.
Here are some of the opening sentences from letters; none of us would want to get:
Dear Doug: Remember when you once said to me that if there was any way you could help me, well. . .
Dear Dad: First I know you will be relieved to know that nobody in either car was seriously injured.
Dear Policy Holder: We have been reviewing your policy in regards to your last claim and we regret to inform you . . .
Dear Cardholder: Remember when you all that Christmas shopping and there were no payments due until April . . .
To the Defendant: The staff here 60 Minutes at would like to interview you to hear your side of the story . . .
Dear Applicant: Our staff found your application for a credit card quite amusing.
Dear Doug: You’re probably wondering why I am writing to you after all these years. I have decided to write my autobiography and am coming to the part concerning our affair when we were much younger . . .
To Whom It May Concern: We have just received the material from your radon kit and analyzed it. Please do not become alarmed, but . . .
Dear Doug: I am sorry to say that your son was the only one I recognized from a group of youngsters playing baseball near that lovely church with the stained glass windows . . .
Dear Taxpayer: As you know not many people are chosen for a full line by line field audit, but our compliance division . . .
Dear American: You probably thought that those days back in the sixties when you were demonstrating against certain establishment policies were fairly harmless and all but forgotten . . .
Dear Tenant: Although we have been trying to hold the line on the rent, I regret to inform you . . .
Mail is no fun anymore.