I Wish I Could Pin Down When This Problem Started

Every day I take a jaunt that looks a bit like anticipation, forced calm, secret smiles, and a heart clenched with potential despair =

My walk to the mailbox.

I don’t know of anyone who is more obsessed with the mail than I am–who else do you know that memorizes when the mail carrier comes, who knows down to the specific week (or day) when a particular circular or magazine should come, who subscribes to over a dozen magazines JUST SO SOMETHING IS ALMOST ALWAYS WAITING IN THE MAILBOX?

Matt tried to tell me once that it had something to do with my mission. (For anyone not familiar with the restrictions that come with being an LDS missionary, missionaries for our church voluntarily give up contact with their families through phone call or face-to-face contact for the length of their service, thereby rendering snail mail and email your only connection to loved ones back home).

However, that’s not where it started (although I’m sure that didn’t make it better).

Side Note: I was famous in the mission for how much mail I received. I didn’t go a single mail day on my entire mission without receiving something (or, more often, thick stacks of rubber-banded envelopes and even a small package or two. Granted, it’s because we only received our mail once every 1-3 weeks, but still…

Then Matt tried to blame it on HIS mission, which is coincidentally when all of my male friends were out in the mission field, and I was faithfully writing all of them. (Note: I once was regularly writing letters to over a dozen missionaries—not romantically, of course). The reason he tries to tie it back to that is because since I was one of the few faithful who wrote these friends regularly, I also regularly received mail in return. Once again, I’m sure this didn’t help my obsession, but unfortunately, my problem goes way, WAY back—

Whether it was the fact that my best friend moved when I was 6 or 7 (and I wrote him as a pen pal for years) or to the fact that I bought myself several gardening and birdwatching magazine subscriptions when I was 11 due to my lofty dream of becoming a famous landscape designer, I can’t say.

The only thing for certain?

I have a problem.

It’s gotten to the point where I sometimes plan my day around the mail, and Matt (who doesn’t share my intense need to receive folded bills and stacks of glossy papers daily) has told me that if I am planning on him having to be with me when I check the mail (usually because he’s driving us both home), he needs to have fair warning, preferably over an hour before.

I am not kidding.

I don’t know why I’m admitting to all this—I guess it’s to let you all have a little peek into some of my weirder idiosyncrasies. Some people are addicted to chapstick, Diet Coke, having their nails filed down, or making sure the bedspread is tucked in just so. And I’m addicted to checking the mail.

So there you have it.

What are some of your little obsessions?


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