Is none other than — drum roll, please — the United States Post Office. Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you are.
Like most folks, I forget it exists. And that, I believe, is the beauty of the post office. They’re just there, forever at the ready. Standing by with stamps and scales, tape, mail trucks, and delivery schedules, whatever you need to send a parcel or scare the pants off somebody with a certified, registered letter.
Saturday I wanted to ship a package to San Francisco. It being a sunny spring afternoon, I decided to walk the mile or so to the post office with the package tucked safely under my arm and enjoy the fresh air. The line of customers waiting for service was blessedly short when I got there, just two sweet, white-haired old ladies in their 80s talking softly. As I stood in line behind them, I listened absently to the conversation.
They were complaining about eye doctors and DMV experiences, neither of them was pleased. The consensus was, know-it-all doctors are annoying and DMVs are slow. Then they started discussing driver’s license info — height and weight and hair color.
‘Well, how tall were you?,’ asked one.
‘I was 5’6” and a half, now I’m 5’5” when I manage to stand up straight,’ answered the other. ‘But I didn’t tell them I’m shorter.’ She paused a beat. ‘Or heavier.’ They collapsed into each other laughing like conspirators who’d pulled off a big caper.
At that point, the line moved and the conversation ended, but my day had been made. Small encounters like that, peeks into other lives, make mundane chores so entertaining. And all we have to do is put down our phones and lift our eyes to the world around us. Take the time to notice our fellow travelers. We’d all feel so much better if we did.
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