Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Going postal

I had a dream the other night that I arrived home after a long journey. "Home" could mean any number of locations for me right now, I suppose, caught as I am between permanent addresses at the moment. My subconscious apparently decided to circumvent all of that confusion by taking me back to my childhood home, a house I've neither seen nor entered in over a dozen years now. I pulled the car into the driveway, went to the mailbox to retrieve the mail, and then entered the house, where I spread all of the mail out on the wall unit in the living room and proceeded to sort through it. That was it, the whole dream, and yet I woke from it deeply content and immensely satisfied.

I suppose that dream analysts could find significance in nearly every detail of that dream, from my subconscious choice of homes to the orderly way I sorted the envelopes and the happiness I found in examining all of that communication from the outside world. But in truth, I think I was just expressing my inner frustration over the postal strike that's been going on here in the UK for the past week.

I am currently waiting for no less than 6 packages, among them "Grammy original" hand knit sweaters for my children, the perfect pair of replacement black boots (gleefully sourced on Ebay-US after I walked right through the sole of my first pair), Halloween costumes for both kids (thank you, Ebay-UK), those fabulous Gap elastic waist jeans in a size 4T (hand-me-downs which probably cost more to mail than they would have to purchase, but I can't find them here, dammit) and a mystery package from a friend who recently left London to move back to Texas. I can't remember when I last had such a bounty of riches winging its way to my doorstep. Alas, I still don't have any such riches winging their way to my doorstep. Instead, they are all languishing in some warehouse somewhere while the postal workers of this country battle it out for better pay and working conditions. I am all for better pay and working conditions for postal workers, of course. I'm just equally in favor of receiving my mail.

Would this happen in the States? I somehow doubt it -- and not just because I've begun to romanticize the American way of life a bit. It's just that people in the US would freak out if they didn't get any mail for a week and the dispute would be settled quickly before angry mobs stormed their local post offices in search of their Pottery Barn catalogs. Not in the UK, though. Here, people shrug and soldier on. Stiff upper lip, you know. And I'm trying to have one, truly I am. But clearly I'm still a soft American at heart. Because with each day that passes with nary a piece of junk mail to grace my dusty mail slot? Well, it's hard not to let that lip quiver a bit.

8 Comments:

Blogger Patois said...

Bummer! (How's that for a totally American saying?) Chin up!

5:43 PM  
Blogger AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

Oh, dear. I would flip out. We forgot to get the mail yesterday, so I went out to get it this morning. No mail. Put hand in, fish around. No mail. Oh, yeah. Columbus Day. So, one day of MIA mail & I'm screaming for the PBK catalog...I can only imagine if the post office went on strike? Think of how many of us would go "postal" on the post office! Good luck getting your mail.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

I was wondering why I didn't get mail yesterday (thanks to the previous commenter for enlightening me...duh!)

I can't imagine going a week with no mail. No bills for a week, well that's nice - but you're getting fun stuff and it sucks to not have that!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Vegas Princess said...

This would freak me out. If I don't receive any mail, even if it is junk mail, I think I am missing out on something and people are stealing my mail (which had happened before in an apartment complex I lived in so I am a bit paranoid) What is it with all the strikes going on? Mail strike in the UK, the big car manufacture strike and soon a writer's strike in Hollywood that will threaten our movies and TV shows. Can't everyone just get along?

3:35 AM  
Anonymous Gretchen said...

Criminey! You would think that with the high rates they charge, the Royal Mail would be a little more into postal customer satisfaction. It's pretty obvious why the home your mind chose was your childhood home -- getting no mail has put you off balance, whether you realized it or not.

I hope it's over soon. I had no idea! I've got to find time to keep up with UK news more.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Wow, that really is a bummer. I hope that they straighten things out soon so you can get all of those fun packages!!

As for the dream of your childhood home? I can totally relate to that. For the past year or so, whenever I have a dream having to do with my parents, it is back in the house that I spent most of my childhood in (not my mom's current house).

6:14 PM  
Blogger Iota said...

Look on it this way. You couldn't say you'd had the full British experience without a postal strike. It would be like not trying fish and chips, or never watching the 10 o'clock news. But I do sympathise. Not least because I'm waiting for a parcel posted in London.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

1. I often dream about I am at my childhood home which my parents sold and moved from 14 years ago.

2. Shouldn't the postal people see the light and realize that regular mail is going the way of the dodo.

6:05 PM  

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