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Post Office Pens


When my sister told me she was having a bad day (which would then turn into a string of bad days, each bad day, hopefully, less bad than the day before it, but still bad nonetheless), I had to get her a cheer up present. Because who doesn’t like getting presents when they are down in the dumps? Exactly. Along with the present, I made her a homemade card, partly because I found out she really likes it when I make her those and partly because making mini-collages from magazine cutouts is a part of my 13-year old self that never grew up.

Today I admired my work and even showed it to Nathalie who remarked that I’ve always been good at making homemade cards. Then I lost myself for a moment or two daydreaming about opening a card shop somewhere slightly hip, but quaint, in a town which would appreciate my mini-collage card art form. When I came back to reality, I walked over to the post office to mail my package.

If this had been a Saturday, it might have been less irritating to have to wait in line at the post office for 20 minutes just to mail a small, tiny, itty-bitty package, but when you’re on your lunch hour and have places to go and things to do, every minute that ticks by can really start to get under your skin.

After about 25 minutes, I began studying the interactions at the counter to find out where the hold up was happening. I noticed that every customer was spending time filling out labels and forms. I looked down at my blank label and guessed that I, too, would have to be the jerk holding up the line by filling out my label at the counter where there might be an available pen.

When it was finally my turn, the lady behind the counter looked at my blank label and then at me.

“You’re going to have to step out of line to fill that out,” she informed me.

“What? Oh, but no,” I said. Perhaps she thought I had forms upon forms to fill out like the people ahead of me had. But all I had was just one small address label, something I could fill out in the quickest of flashes, if only I just had a pen… “I just need to fill this out. Can you just weigh my package while I do that?”

“No, you have to be all ready to go,” she said in a huff.

Resigned, I moved to the side, but not before asking to borrow a pen.

“I’m all out of pens,” she said. Then, seeing as how I wasn’t moving, she sighed and got up from her seat to find me one.

“But isn’t that a pen?” I asked, pointing at the black ball point in front of me, just out of arms reach.

“Yes, but that’s my pen,” she said. And she was serious.

Last modified: January 10, 2019