There is nothing sweeter at this time of year than opening your mailbox to find a red and green envelope waiting for you. Ah, Christmas cards, a sweet slice of the holiday spirit sent directly to your door.
And then the mail keeps coming the rest of the year.
The constant flow was enough to drive Kramer (slightly more) crazy in the 1997 Seinfeld episode The Junk Mail, and like Kramer we all felt a little mixed upon learning that Canada Post will be phasing out urban home delivery over the next five years.
Here are three things we won’t miss:
1. The Junk
The junk comes, and comes, and comes. Like Sisyphus pushing his rock back up that hill in Hades every day, the emptying of the junk mail from the mailbox is a thankless, never-ending task. Hot dogs are on for 99 cents at No Frills. There is a rollback Christmas lights at Walmart. Capital One has pre-approved me for a credit card. Every day I come home to my mailbox overflowing with deals, so many deals that I could never appreciate them all in one lifetime. Every day the stack of of letters which know my name only to be “Resident” is larger than the last.Every. Day. There. Is. More.
Except now there won’t be. Finally, some extra space in the mailbox
for all of the personal correspondence mail I receive to leave my keys for when the electrician comes and I’m not home.
2. Other people’s mail
For some reason I cannot fathom there is a nonstop deluge of mail for people I don’t know that comes to my mailbox that gives me an almost eerie vision into their lives with none of the pleasure of being able to open them up. Mr Hun-Tso looked to be behind on his phone bill, with letters coming with increasingly scarier words like “IMPORTANT” “PAST DUE” and “FINAL NOTICE” stamped on the front. Mr Rados’ citizenship information came through, which I’m sure would have been a happy day for him if he’d actually received the package. I still get the magazine subscriptions for a beauty salon that was once apparently in my house.
Okay, I’ll concede that I would probably actually enjoy this aspect of mail home delivery if it wasn’t for the precious space in my mailbox that was being taken up by five letters a day addressed to people who hadn’t lived there for years.
3. The slow speed
With today’s technology junk mail and bills seem to be the only stuff that really serves a purpose in the mailbox — and even bills can be sent online. Everything else is just a click, tap, or touch away on our computers, tablets, and smartphones. Even telephones can do most of what mail can accomplish. Even fax machines, themselves a completely outdated form of technology, can do everything mail can do at a fraction of the time.
There’s a reason people call it snail mail.