Are people in line at UPS tempted to go postal?

by CountryFriedMama on December 8, 2009

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In one of the fits of frugality I have in between fits of frivolous spending, I decided we were done buying new books.  We have no place to store them and I rarely re-read anything, so buying new seems wasteful.  I found an online book swap and I get most everything I want in the mail for free.

The downside to this plan is that I have to send out books, too, which requires my going to the post office.  Belly and I were there this morning, loaded down with a bag full of hardbacks to send out to readers in New York, Colorado and Pennsylvania.

I knew it would be a tough trip before I even pulled into the post office parking lot.  It’s raining today, the kind of rain that has me fearful we will be in the basement at some point in the next 24 hours.  The tiny lot was full, so I had to hang out and stalk people as they walked to their cars.  I had my eye on a good space when a woman in a beige Lexus swung around from the back of the building and pulled into MY spot.  She got out of her beige car, and hurried for the post office so she wouldn’t get her beige clothes or her weirdly highlighted beige hair wet.  I managed to get the next spot that opened up, and Belly and I hustled through the rain right behind Ms. Blah, who, not surprisingly, did not hold the door for me even though I was carrying 20 pounds worth of books and 30 pounds worth of little girl.

Going to the post office in December is painful.  Going to the post office in December in my neighborhood is ridiculous.  There were 10 people in line and two clerks until the clock hit noon; then one of the workers disappeared.  The line in the tiny room continued to grow longer and began to move more slowly.

I was holding Belly, but when she started screaming, “DOWN!  DOWN!” I let her go.  There was nowhere for her to run and really nothing she could hurt, so I couldn’t think of a reason to torture both of us by hanging onto her.

Ms. Blah turned around from her place in line and asked, “Will she go far?”  “No, no,” I said in the friendliest voice I could muster.  Belly looked up at her and repeated, “No, no.”

I watched Belly as she examined priority mail boxes and address change forms and people’s shoes.  She was fascinated by the post office’s plastic Christmas tree, and she looked at that for awhile.

The line crept along.

Ms. Blah was two people from the front when Belly walked over to her, smiled, and threw herself against the woman’s leg.  It was a fabulous little hug, but Ms. Blah looked truly worried about her beige pants.  I pulled Belly off, apologized, then wondered about the kind of person who would not find a hug from a random baby to be a pretty great surprise in the middle of an ugly, rainy, not-enough-workers-at-the-post-office kind of day.

Hugs from babies keep you young, Ms. Blah.  Had you let Belly hang onto your pretty pants another minute, maybe you wouldn’t need to drop so much cash at the salon turning your grey hair that unnatural color.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura W December 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I would take a sweet hug from Belly girl anyday! Kiddo hugs are so fun- aren’t we blessed to have young hearts to enjoy precious moments like that?!


Jane December 8, 2009 at 4:01 pm

What the heck is she wearing beige pants in the rain anyway?


Karen December 8, 2009 at 5:25 pm

You know, if that book swapping site your using is the same one I’m using (, you can pay for the postage online and print it out at home. Then all you have to do is drop the package in the mail and don’t actually have to go in the post office.


Country-Fried Mama
Twitter: countryfried
December 8, 2009 at 5:59 pm

That’s the one, Karen. I’ve never done that before. Thanks for the tip!


faemom December 8, 2009 at 8:15 pm

How can any one NOT want a hug from Belly? Belly can hug me any time, even if she’s all full of mud or chocolate.


CountryFriedMama December 8, 2009 at 8:54 pm

The worst part, faemom, is that she was totally clean. No drool, no remnants from lunch. Nothing that would have mussed up all that beige.


Auntie M December 8, 2009 at 9:47 pm

You name the place and time and I’ll be there in line for a Belly hug or a Miss D hug…and I will not wear beige!


Bubbe December 9, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I would love a hug from a baby any day! Especially Belly……


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