Smackdown with the Mailbox

Funny thing about suburgatory- even the mailboxes are different.  Now maybe I’m a naive city girl, but I have never seen a drive up mailbox — just one of the many “conveniences” that you get in the burbs. Forget those days of unnecessary walking to mail a letter. You simply pull up, throw the mail down the chute that sticks out like an elephant’s trunk and drive away in your minivan.  Seems like a perfectly safe and convenient way to deposit your mail. Well, sort of… if you’re not a suburb newbie.

Ever wonder what might happen if you try to stick 120 letters (i.e. new address cards) into one of these things at once? Well, they get stuck in the chute. Yup they got stuck and of course, instead of letting the professional mailbox people handle it, I took matters into my own hands and stuck my arm down the chute to push them in further. When that didn’t work, I then tried to pull them out and inadvertently pulled out another person’s mail. I think there’s a federal crime in there somewhere- but I did put it right back- 5 second rule?


Mailbox manufactures must have a good sense of humor because they make these things just the right size so an arm easily goes in but doesn’t so easily come out. In the midst of this, a fellow suburbanite pulled up and asked if my arm was stuck in the mailbox. Um, kind of. Yes… this was my embarrassing introduction to the new neighborhood. After waving him off, I then proceeded to rock the mailbox forward and back to loosen said mail out of the chute and into the box. There must be a law against this too but in my defense, why wasn’t it secured to the ground? 

I noticed a neighbor watching me from behind a hedge at the corner and decided it was time to drive away with the little dignity I had left, leaving my mail stranded in no-mail’s land. Before I pulled away, a man came over to the opposite side of the box, pulled down the handle and revealed a big, normal mailbox opening. He dropped his envelope in and left. Why hadn’t I looked on the other side for another opening? Why? Because where else but in suburbia do they have drive up mailboxes to spare you the “inconvenience” of getting out of your car? So much for a peaceful morning in the burbs and a quiet introduction to my new hood. 

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