Post Office Phobia

A rainy day, one might say, could be perfect to post a few parcels and the family in Australia’s belated Christmas presents – said presents which have been wrapped for so long that the cheap Christmas wrap is starting to fade and disintegrate (it’s just that cheap paper, I say, not the fact that they’ve been sitting in a Tesco bag waiting patiently by the door for so many months that if I wait a couple of months they could be next Christmas’s early presents, (…they could, couldn’t they? So long as the family do not remember that I forgot last year’s presents?).

I have this weird thing associated with Post Offices whereby I procrastinate so badly that letters and parcels become yellowed with age before posting them. Not important things, and not always, just some things. Recently I became so overcome with guilt at not posting the latest bundle that I moved the bag out of sight beside the fridge where I was not then constantly reminded of my idiosyncrasy, or personality weakness depending on whether your cup is half empty or half full.

At some point during the next few days…or maybe weeks; it’s a blur now, I became so guilty that I then moved the wretched bag, which now seemed to have developed a personality of its own, into the back of my car fully intending its presence coupled with unswerving logic to force me into posting them, (ie: they’re in the car so you have to post them!!) After about a week or so of seeing what had become the Bag of Guilt every single damn time I climbed into my car – far, far too busy/lazy to post it, I decided to shovel it very quickly (these things are best done in haste…) into the boot, feeling somewhat like I was hiding a dead body, although much relieved at not having to look at it every second. I half expected the Post Office Police (if there were such people about,) to stop my car, order me to, ‘Step out of the vehicle, Ma’am,’ and force me to open the boot. The opened boot would inevitably reveal, The Package, who quite possibly had learned how to speak by this stage, and would then utter unspeakable things about how it had been treated, and would then be given all the care and attention of a missing child found, complete with the accusing stares from passer-by’s and other such looks directed toward myself.

One week after a particularly large grocery shop I had to very reluctantly/guiltily bring the package back inside the house as it was getting in the way and on my nerves. I placed it almost reverently, and in deep shame by the kitchen door, and every now and then consoled myself by giving it a quick smile or pat on the…the bag.

One fortunate day whilst my husband was off work I casually asked him if he would mind posting a few things, and was relieved when he said he would. Lo and behold it was gone from my life.

Speaking of post… a giant box arrived for my son’s birthday this morning at 10am. The time is very significant as it’s school holidays – the only time I get to sleep in a little. I woke to a furious pounding on the door, stumbled and crashed my way down the steps bleary-eyed, half awake, and half still in my dream about riding a giant reptilian bird who was attacking a dragon guarding some ancient magical chalice, shouting, ‘Hang-on, hang on, I’m coming!’ I was greeted by an overly cheery postman in his glaringly bright orange (or maybe it was red) wet-weather gear talking as though we’d already had half a conversation as soon as the door opened.

‘…and the Hoy name is Scottish you know!’ he cried happily, thrusting the oversized box at me. ‘Are you lot related to Chris Hoy? You could be…here sign this. Well I suppose it’s Sir Chris now, isn’t it? Ha ha ha! Yes sirree…’ meanwhile, I tried to shut down my half-asleep brain’s primal instinct for violence while attempting to waken my fine motor skills enough to sign for the parcel with sleep-filled, crusty eyes, sticking up bed hair, no make-up, bad breath, wearing smelly fluff embedded checked pyjamas and an old holey, ill-fitting almost see through t-shirt whilst smiling vaguely, nodding and trying to make sense of the world.

Tracey Hoy

[Previously published on WordPress July 2009 and in What Brainstem, by Smashwords ©

July 29, 2011]