“I used to decorate every room in my home for Christmas,” she said as she weighed my package. “That was before I started working for the post office.” I looked around the empty lobby and imagined it in a few weeks, packed with impatient people, wanting to mail their Chia Pets, and mulling over their choices on Christmas stamps. Let’s see, tiny reindeer, or manger and Madonna? JUST PICK A STAMP AND MOVE ON!!!
I don’t like the smell of cardboard in the morning. Packing tape gives me the shivers, and let’s not even talk about styrofoam peanuts. When it comes to packages, it is more blessed to receive than to give. My publishing empire is warehoused in my walk-in closet. This leaves it to me to ship books to reviewers, readers, and rich uncles who haven’t made out their wills yet. Shout out to Uncle Edward.
Packing involves finding the right box in my cardboard jungle: a process no less daunting than cresting the summit of Mt. Everest with a forty pound backpack and a case of diarrhea. Fortunately, I have a friend who has been helping me through the birthing of my new company. She recently made the foolish mistake of volunteering for a more active role in supporting my entrepreneurial venture.
She’s now in charge of correspondence, PR, and the shipping department. To that end, I did something so totally out of character that my family suspects that I’m some demented doppleganger. I bought boxes. Let me be perfectly clear, I paid money for preformed chunks of cardboard. My grandmother, who tied recycled milk cartons around our necks with clothesline so we’d have both hands free to pick berries would be rolling over in her grave.
I’ve developed a new respect for the “handling” part of shipping and handling. I will certainly mourn the day when I exhaust my supply of used bubble wrap. When we went to see the Crown Jewels in London, somebody put down their backpack—and the guards went ballistic. I’m sure he found himself on the receiving end of a full body cavity search. That’s how I feel about my bubble wrap.
So if you get a package from me, please appreciate the mental exhaustion that went into it. And if you come to visit, stay well away from my bubble wrap. I have a pair of rubber gloves and I’m not afraid to use them.