Thursday, September 17, 2020

ATTN: Middle Child

A Love Letter to the USPS

          The United States Postal Service has taken quite a beating lately. Mailboxes are disappearing. Overtime has been slashed. Delivery has been erratic. The President isn’t a big fan. It even seems like their own Postmaster General has it in for them. But I write this post with the deepest affection and admiration for the USPS, as it will always have a special place in my heart.
Getting mail = Getting attention
          When I was an attention-starved child Middle Child (as opposed to the attention-starved adult Middle Child I am today) -- back when there was no such thing as e-mailing and texting, or Facebook or Twitter -- getting mail was a big deal. If someone took the time to actually write a letter, stuff it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and send it in the mail, that meant something. At least to me it did. 
          Checking the mail as soon as I got home from school was the highlight of my day. (Eeeks, as I was writing that I realized how pathetic that sounds.) There were even days when I pretended to be sick just so I could stay home from school and retrieve the mail the moment it arrived instead of waiting until later in the day. Oh yeah, I had it bad. Real bad.
Maybe I wrote too many letters?
          In my mind, more mail meant more attention, so I’d write letters to anyone I thought would write back: politicians, astronauts, celebrities, you name it. I wrote a lot of letters to Charles M Schulz, creator of one of my childhood cartoon idols, Charlie Brown. I wrote to him so often, I don’t see how it couldn’t have freaked him out. But each time, I would receive a letter back from Mr. Schulz. (I saved a whole stack of those letters for years, but at some point convinced myself they were just worthless form letters and trashed them all. Then I recently saw online that people are selling theirs for hundreds of dollars. AAUGH!) I also had a pen pal. He was from England and his name was Graham. (I got rid of those letters, too. Graham from England, if you’re reading this -- it’s me, Bruce. Sorry I haven’t written to you in a few decades. So, what’s new?)
          Perhaps now you can understand why when they talked about cancelling Saturday mail a few years back, I nearly blew a gasket. (Read “Stamp Out Middle Child Neglect.”) It’s also easy to see how this current mess might be enough to make me go postal. But fear not, my letter lugging, ballot bringing, Bed, Bath & Beyond 20%-off coupon carrying couriers. Together, we will survive this gloom of night -- for there is hope. A recent study found the USPS to be America’s most favorite government agency!  Sure, besting the likes of the IRS and the VA may not seem like any great shakes, but like every Middle Child knows, you take whatever accolades you can get.


  1. I definitely don't feel the same as you about the loser USPS. It's too bad they haven't kept up with the times and are slowly becoming extinct. I don’t get any USPS mail and I don't care. On the other hand, my husband (ONLY CHILD, super extrovert, attention hog, BB&B coupon hoarder) lives the for daily mail delivery. If he's not at home, he'll call me to find out if I've checked the mailbox. For. Real.

    1. Maybe you don't care because you don't get any mail. I am sensing a deep hurt! I'll send you a letter and you'll see how good it feels. If it ever gets there! (Thanks for reading!)


Middle Children need to be heard!