Sunday, February 24, 2008

Public humiliation at the post office

Jeremy's mom sent Miriam a lovely Valentine's package a couple of weeks ago. Miriam loved everything in it, except for one item. You can see it lying on the floor, bottom center, in this picture.

It's the pig wearing bright red satin shoes and a fuzzy coat. For some reason, Miriam just couldn't bond with it. Jeremy and I personally thought it was hilariously hideous, and so we decided to send it to someone who could really appreciate it: my older brother, Blair.

I packed it up somewhat awkwardly in an old box we had lying around and we all went to the post office with some other items we'd been meaning to mail. There was a long line, of course, which made for a large audience of bored bystanders when it was finally our turn.

I hadn't sealed the package with packing tape because I couldn't find any at home. I know it's not the post office's job to give out packing supplies for free, but I didn't think it would be a big deal for them to put one strip of packing tape on the box to seal it. As it turns out, I was wrong. The post office lady told me they "didn't have any packing tape." Obviously, this was a lie, but I thought I understood what she was trying to say.

When we were trying to figure out an alternative shipping container, she asked me, "What is it that you're trying to send?"

"Oh, just a stuffed animal," I hedged, not wanting to have to show it to her and all the people in line staring at us.

"Well, how big is it?" she asked.

I made a motion with my hands to show her, again avoiding having to actually pull the hideous thing out of its box.

Fortunately, she seemed to take my word for it and pulled out a large, flexible envelope that would fit it just fine.

While she busied herself with our other items, I surreptitiously slid the pig out of the box and into the envelope. But before I could seal it, the post office lady looked up, smiling, and said, "oh, can I see that?"

I was so embarrassed, but I pulled it out and showed it to her. Everyone in the whole post office could see it. What surprised me was the lady's reaction. She started chatting about how cute it was! "Why are you sending it away? Doesn't your daughter just love it? Who are you sending it to?" she asked loudly.

"Oh, my daughter doesn't really like it. I'm sending it to my brother," I answered, conveniently leaving out the fact that the brother in question is 31 years old.

As soon as she was done admiring it, I put it in its envelope and sealed it so that I wouldn't have to be embarrassed anymore.

My brother eventually got the package and appreciated it just as much as we thought he would. Here it is in its new home, with a companion (my brother claims that his 7-year-old daughter put the jacket on the doll, but I have my doubts):

I'm sure it's much happier there.

(I'm really depending on my mother-in-law's sense of humor here. I asked Jeremy several times if I could post this and he was confident she wouldn't be offended that we sent a small portion of her Valentine's package to someone else.)


sarah said...

hahah i thought she'd like it! i didnt know the jacket came off either, that's awesome!

Kitty Crazy! said...

That's so funny! The pig actually came free with a bottle of "Nail Envy" (repair for brittle nails) that Sarah bought for me. She thought the pig was ugly, too, but I thought Miriam might possibly like it since it was pink. I'm glad the doll is getting some use out of the coat, anyway! I'm also glad to know that MIriam has good taste in stuffed animals.

Heather said...

Hey, I happen to think that pig is very cute.

Camille said...

I have had similar experiences at the post office. My packages have needed extra tape and I have been told pointedly that I may not leave my baby on the counter. (Since I was planning on throwing him up there and running out the door, right?) It must be a tougher job than I realize...


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