The other day I was at the post office, waiting in line to use the self-service postage machine. (In my opinion, the PO’s smartest invention since the sticker-stamp.) I’m sure some of you are even savvier and print your postage from home online. I’ve tried that a few times, but I’m never good at guessing how much something weighs, so I inevitably head to my nearest branch.
The man in front of me is on his cell phone, and I label him a rebel—one of “those” people for whom rules don’t apply because our PO states clearly on the door: No Cell Phones. So Mr. Rule Breaker spends the next ten minutes trying to mail one large envelope on the scale as he’s being coached on the other end of the phone by someone, I assume it’s his wife. And this is a safe assumption, because I know my husband has never attempted to mail anything on his own. He has his secretary mail work stuff and I handle the personal mail.
Mr. Rule Breaker asks his phone: “What do you think? Do I need delivery confirmation? Okay. Now it’s asking for insurance…yeah, okay, no insurance. Will the label fit? How big’s the label?” It really takes every bit of restraint in me not to push him aside, tell him to hang up the forbidden phone, and let me do it.
Because I see him everywhere. He’s always at the grocery, clutching a list his wife wrote in one hand, pushing a cart with the other and trying to keep a cell phone wedged between his shoulder and ear. “Yeah, do we buy Heinz or Hunts? Okay, but the Kroger brand’s on sale. Yeah, okay. And then you have on here butter. Do you want the stick kind or the stuff in a plastic thing?”
Honestly. I can picture him later. “Yeah, I know you told me not to call again, but it’s kinda important. Yeah, there’s only one-ply in here and I’m not sure it’s going to work. Yeah, I guess I don’t have another option. You’re right. I’ll just use more than normal. Front to back, or back to front? Okay. No, I won’t forget; I think this one flushes itself. No, I’ll wash my hands…with soap. Okay. No, I won’t call anymore. I promise. No, I really promise. Okay.”
Yeah, it’s a wonder they can breathe without our telling them to.