Monday, August 16, 2010

Postcards from Outer Space

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night… you know, the U.S. Postal Service generally does a great job of bringing us our mail. But once in a while, since we live at 8324 Elm Street (fictitiously speaking, of course), we get mail for the people at 8324 Poplar, a block north of us. We put the envelope back into our mailbox, raise the flag, and the next day, it’s back on its way. Occasionally we get a piece of mail meant for one of our neighbors, and we just stick that in their mailbox, or –and this may shock you—hand it to them in person.

So imagine my surprise when I moseyed out to the mailbox recently, and flipping through the flyers, bills and magazines, found a postcard from Italy, addressed to my daughter. Who lives in Sacramento.

Yep, I swear I am not making this up. My son and his bride, (the former Daffodil, now my actual ‘dil’) had honeymooned in Italy, and here was a beautiful picture postcard from Capri, meant for his sister.

The address portion was clearly labeled to Rachel and family, obviously a different surname from ours, at HER street address, Sacramento, CA, proper zip code and all. What the what??? I felt like I was being pranked, Punk’d, or for those of you my age, on Candid Camera.

I literally turned around 360° in the cul-de-sac, thinking that Rob and Jessica must be in their car (yeah, they just dropped in from Washington, D.C., right?) watching me, laughing their tiny respective a**es off. Nope. No sign of pranksters.

I couldn’t process what I was seeing. How did this end up here in Missouri, addressed as it was?

As I headed down the driveway, I noticed that there was also a small envelope, a thank-you note, as it turned out, addressed to us from Rob and Jessica. Ahhh, I thought, I get it. Somehow the note card must have stuck to the postcard when they mailed them, and the postcard intended for Sacramento just piggy-backed onto our mail, ending up here. Okay, wacky and implausible, but not impossible.

Later, when I spoke to Rob, I said, “Guess what we got in the mail today?” I pretty much stunned him into silence with the answer, and that takes some doing. He will normally outwit me and anyone else foolish enough to spar with him, with one arm tied behind his back. Then I told him my theory that supposedly explained how this could happen. He listened condescendingly (a mother can tell) and then condescendingly patiently pointed out that he had actually mailed the postcard from Italy.

Now he had truly stunned ME into silence. I just assumed they had brought the postcards home with them and mailed them stateside. “No way!” I said. He confidently told me to look at the postmark. Well, that was the other thing: there WAS no postmark. It had an Italian stamp on it, but…. How did it land in OUR mailbox? I could see it going to Sacramento, and I could see it going nowhere, but seriously, how did WE get it?

Rob said, “What about YOUR postcard?” Oh, you sent us a postcard, too? It hasn’t arrived. Maybe it’s gone to Sacramento, I hypothesized…

Ten days later said postcard arrived. Beautiful scene of Capri, sweet note from the kids, and addressed to the Center of the Universe and me. Italian stamp. No postmark. I’ll never know if it got here via Sacramento.


  1. Oh, God...that is bizarre. So, we'll never know how this happened? Are you asking them to launch a US Federal investigation on this? I mean, this is what the FBI is for, right?? This make absolutely no sense! I believe it's safe to say that the US post office is neither that good (making the familial connection of DIL's sister) or that bad.

  2. Wow, that is strange. And isn't it funny that the Candid Camera concept keeps coming back in each generation? I suppose some of today's reality shows fit the concept too...watching people embarrass themselves, or us.

  3. Leah, that is positively wild! Uncanny! I got a kick out of Blissed-Out Grandma's comment above. I used to work for the Candid Camera show, the second generation, under Allan's son Peter!

  4. I'd stick with the postcard-hitched-a-ride-with-card explanation, otherwise I'd go crazy trying to figure it out.
    Although I do love a good mystery, especially ones with international shenanigans going on.

  5. How very bizarre!
    Big Brothers watching ;)

  6. That is crazy! i wonder if i am getting all of my mail or is it going to new york or something?! bizarro!

  7. That is the craziest thing ever! Now I am going to be thinking about this for the rest of the afternoon. Yikes.