I have one really big personal rule – I never go anywhere in public wearing pajamas! Not on a coffee run, for a quick school drop off, on an airplane, to the bank, grocery store, pet store, DMV and nope, not even to Wal Mart (even though I would be so not alone there).
However, rules were made to be broken, right?
To truly understand my story of rebellion, though, you must first grasp the workings and plight of the small town post office.
In my town, many of the residents only option for receiving mail is to collect it at an assigned P.O. Box inside the small town post office building. It is not such a bad system. I can collect my mail from the combination box during business hours, or even later as the door to where the boxes are located is left unlocked into the evening. However, the boxes are small, and well ancient
Don’t I belong in a museum somewhere?
and thus any item bigger than the standard letter must be collected from an actual person, at the window, during Post Office business hours.
So here inlays the problem -the plight of the small town Post Office, or should I say, the slow extinction. In order to cut losses (and pay for Michele’s new bangs), the independent government agency responsible for U.S. Mail is slowly whittling down and closing small town post offices (which makes people mad, and let me just tell you, this is not a good idea -‘cause country folk have guns, and lots of beef). Anyway, in a move one step closer to closing altogether, my small town post office hours of operation were recently reduced to only 9am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday and 7am to 9am on Saturday. I think you see the problem. You can pretty much forget about ever getting packages again unless you are out of work, too old to work, playing hooky from work, or allergic to work.
And this is where my situation stood last Saturday. My post office was holding hostage several of my packages that had come in during the week, which since I don’t fall into any of the above categories, (although I am seriously lobbying for the allergy angle), I was unable to collect during the limited business hours. Thus on Saturday, when I awoke at 8:45 am (15 minutes before post office closing) the idea occurred to me to break my long standing pajamas in public rule. As I jumped out of bed and threw on my coat, I reasoned “how bad could it be?” The postal lady knows me and will surely excuse my break with decorum showing up in rumpled pajamas. But just to be on the safe side, I donned dark glasses on the cloudy morning in the attempt to hide my bare face, draw attention away from my pjs/ bed head, and protect from the traumatization of small children, old people and stray dogs I may encounter along the way.
When I arrived at the Post Office just prior to closing, I quickly stepped to the window trying my best to hide inside my coat and behind my glasses, ready to make a joke at my own expense, get my packages and steal away home. But, to my surprise and horror, the clerk was NOT the familiar face I expected to laugh with me about my public pj exposure (which I suddenly realized looked disturbingly like long underwear – Beverly Hillbillies here I come!). No, the postal clerk was new, a guy, someone I had never seen before who was surely wondering what side of the bed I had just rolled out of (um, the left?) and why I was all Corey Hart wearing my “sunglasses at night.”
But, nonetheless, I wanted my packages. So, I quickly formulated a new plan - grab my packages quickly, keep my head down, and run out the door. Then maybe, just maybe, the new postal clerk guy would not recognize me if we chanced to meet in public later when I actually had clothes on… and mascara.
But then, before I could even put my new plan into action, the new postal clerk guy blurted out excitedly as he handed me my packages…
“HEY! You live at 467 Smith Street?!!!”
“Um, Yeah” I answered with trepidation. Was he sending the fashion police to my house? Stacy and Clinton? The Moms Who Have Let Themselves Go Intervention Team?
“I’m your new neighbor! I move in next week!”
Some rules were just not meant to be broken.