Although I really hate to do it, sooner or later it typically becomes necessary to pay the bills. God I hate to pay the bills. This is an activity with the tendency to bring out some of my more colorful language and best remnants of irritated adolescent sighs. And because I value my happy home, I'm not always sure it's the best thing in the world for me to publicize how easily I can slide into a fabulously realistic interpretation of a two year old. How dare those crooks at the electric company charge me a "system benefit charge"? I'm quite sure that there is no such thing. Yet I'm told I must pay or sit in the dark. Given the lack of reasonable options, I've decided to nurture my karma through the process of paying.
It is inevitable that once a week, a crinkly envelope will arrive in the mail chock full of colorful stickers and cheesily-themed return address labels. The most recent delivery consisted of cartoon-ish pastel animals prancing around my husband's name and address with italicized words lamenting, "wish you were here..." and "thinking of you..." One was even so bold as to warn, "PAWS OFF!!!" I cannot help but wondering what sort of man this pastel-animal-prancing organization thinks I've married.
So karma. Although I feel very strongly that my money would be better spent on prosciutto and cheese, I do enjoy packing up those little envelopes that mysteriously transport my money across the vast and varied world . I like all the peeling, sealing, sticking and stamping that's part and parcel to the process. Recently, though, it occurred to me how very boring those envelopes are. I think about the person whose job it is to open the envelopes. I bet he or she gets lots of paper cuts. I wonder if s/he ever accidentally rips the checks in the midst of his/her fervor. And if the check gets ripped, what happens then?
If I were a professional Envelope Opener, I think I'd want somebody to reach out to me. And so that's what I do. I don't let those prancing little puppies go to waste. I slap on a return address label and I don't stop there. They always give you stickers with the labels as well, and you might as well put them to use while you're at it. So I seal the envelope with a sticker embossed with "Pilamaya" which means "thank you" in a language that I do not speak. Or sometimes I'll get inspirational and add a sticker reminding the Envelope Opener that "Life is a song -- sing it" or "Life is a dream -- realize it" or "Life is love -- enjoy it." And if I suspect it's an Envelope Opener in particular need of cheer, I may include all three essential instructions on the proclivities of life. If I'm feeling chummy, I'll let that Envelope Opener know that although we've not met, we are still "Friends Forever." Yes, Envelope Opener, FOREVER.
And I rest easily at night, knowing the world is a better place.
Before I'm painted as a saint, I do need to make a confession. As I sit here and type, I'm sharing a Ben and Jerry's with the sweet and gentle soul who is my husband. I am stealing all the big and goopy chunks, and despite my deep and boundless love, I feel only mild guilt. Mostly I feel delight at the squish of cookie dough in my mouth. I'm a chunk whore.
At least I'm giving with my stickers.