This I Believe

Vicki - New York
Entered on December 6, 2006

I believe in the United States Post Office. I’m a writer, so every day (maybe this makes me pathetic) I sprint to my mailbox looking for envelopes with return addresses from literary journals, publishers, magazines, wherever I’ve sent a poem or a story. I plan for rejection but an acceptance note can make my day.

But so can a letter from my grandmother. Or a postcard. Or my Writers Digest magazine. Or a free sample of shampoo.

See, I can use the excuse of my profession to explain why I get so excited about the mail, but the truth is, I’ve always loved mail, and the United States Post Office never lets me down.

When I think of the things the USPS has brought me: my college acceptance letter, paychecks, a magazine with my first big byline in it – even a marriage proposal – I am giddy. And consider this: something big like that can arrive any day. Mail time – approximately 1:30 p.m. on my street – holds so much potential for so much surprise.

And you can completely trust the post office to bring it to you promptly. We all know the motto, and I’ve seen it happen in person. My mailman, in a blizzard with icicles in his eyebrows, stops at my house just to deliver the Wal-Mart ad flyer. And I rush out to get it.

There’s no reason for the United States Post Office to be so reliable. Let’s face it, they sort of have a monopoly. And the advent of e-mail hasn’t treated them so well. Yet day after day except Sundays and holidays, I can expect to open my green, waterproof post box to find whatever it is a stamp can bring.

One day, it’s going to be the United States Post Office that delivers me a copy of my first book publishing contract. In my daydream, it arrives in a big yellow envelope that just barely fits in the mailbox. And even though it will probably be a day far, far (far) in the future when it arrives, the United States Post Office will make sure it’s delivered right on time. This, I believe.