I don’t check my mail enough. I have a long-standing, deep-bellied, heavy with the scent of blood loathing of checking mail. It’s not the taking it out of the mailbox part; it’s the opening and reading and wishing to be anesthetized part. I don’t like it. Here’s where I get to psychoanalyze myself on a public platform. Ready for the fun? Okay, here we go.
I started this piece over a month ago– I wrote one paragraph, the first one you just read– walked away from it and never returned until just now. Don’t you see? Even writing about mail gives me anxiety. There’s also the fact that it was setting up to be a somber piece, full of regret and penance. So I avoided it. I’ve mastered the art of not getting to what I need to get to. Much like my mail. But enough stalling.
I’m going to be open and vulnerable in this part. I’ve recently discovered that not checking my mail has been the primary cause of most of my financial troubles. Recently this hit me in the most embarrassing way, outside of getting arrested. (Sorry people who have been arrested; that’s embarrassing as fuck). My license was suspended twice in less than 6 months. Fucking yikes. Like, true what the fuck. If you’re going to unfollow me, please do it now. Let’s not make this long and awkward.
Here’s the part where I get into the what had happened was… I didn’t check my mail so I didn’t know that a debtor wasn’t receiving my payments because I had it on auto pay and my debit card had changed. Payments were attached to my card instead of the routing number. Always use the routing number! So they sent it to court and they had a final judgement and my license got suspended until I resolved it. Done. I turned in all the necessary documents at the DMV and paid the freaking fine and drove home legally. Fast forward two months later. My license gets suspended again. Yeah, what the fuck? The Department of Motor Vehicles lost (yes, ya’ll lost my shit DMV) the documents that I had turned in to get my license back. They sent a letter saying I needed to re-submit them within 20 days or else my license would be suspended. I missed seeing that letter because I hate reading mail. While the parties tried to figure out what could’ve happened to my documents, since I clearly had turned them in at some point, I was without a car. Somewhere in Panama someone is probably opening up a credit card in my name. All of this could’ve been avoided if I had only read my mail.
This is the part where I blame my preference of living in a dream world. Besides the obvious problem of hating to do things that I don’t feel like doing, some people call them responsibilities, but that’s splitting hairs, I fear mail. Mail has a history of telling me that everything is not okay in the world as I believe it to be.
Mail: There’s something that needs to be done that doesn’t fit into your beautiful afternoon, or week, or life.
Me: And why would I want to hear something like this?
Mail: You don’t have as much money as you think you do.
Me: Again, why do I want to hear this?
So I keep it’s mouth shut. The seal stays closed. The stack get’s placed somewhere. I tell myself that I’ll check it later. I sleep at night. It hasn’t been working very well. While I’ve been sleeping, I’ve been getting screwed. Yeah. I know, the analogy is a good one, thank you.
Here’s the part where I discuss my childhood, particularly my mother. She’s the only one that I remember opening the mail. And although I can count on one hand how many times I’ve heard her raise her voice in my entire lifetime, don’t be fooled. She likes drama. And she saved it for opening the mail time. She’d comment through the entire process like a sportscaster predicting a game; she’d study the envelops calling winners and losers; she’d hold her breath and furrow her brow as she tore them open. She’d let out sharp breaths of air and sighs and inform us that we’ve been keeping too many lights on and that the air-conditioning was off limits until further notice. Whether we would walk home in the hot sun and enter a hot house or the luxury of central air all hinged on what the mail said. Mail had power and she used that power in some of her best performances. It always annoyed me the way she made a big fuss. I now realize that I’ve also been making my own big fuss by visualizing it as a wild cat laying in wait to devour my happiness and avoiding it at all costs, sometimes weeks at a time. Two women; two types of drama.
Now here’s the boring part where I grow up. I explained my situation to a friend; I was frustrated and losing my shit; and because she’s a freaking genius, she recommended that I set myself a goal of checking my mail every day. I know right? Revolutionary. Just get ahead of the problem and my worst fears won’t come to fruition. Or at the very least, they won’t have snowballed by the time I get around to reading about them. So, for the past month I’ve been taking my mail out of the mailbox everyday (an accomplishment in itself) and actually reading it. So far, mail hasn’t told me that I have cancer or that I’d years ago signed away my firstborn child and now it’s time to pay up.
How are you with checking your mail? Is there another adult task that you loathe and avoid? Tell us all about it!
My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to live a more interesting, fulfilling and beautiful life. Think of me as your well-being and happiness guide. Every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?