Posted by Kelli Joan Bennett
Day 26. “Next,” the very perky postal worker wearing bright red lipstick chirps. It looks nice on her. I wish I could pull off red lipstick I think as I step up to the counter. I apologetically state, “I need a PO Box.” I’m not sorry about this fact but, for some reason, whenever I ask anyone for anything ever I usually apologize for it in advance. As if to let them know I’m probably going to be a pain in their ass. I need to work on that because I’m rarely a pain in the ass. If I could, I’d do their job for them just so I wouldn’t have to bother them.
She expertly swivels around in her chair and searches a compartmentalized tray of forms. She holds a PO Box application as she spins back and says, “I need two types of ID.” Before I respond, she quickly rattles off, “a valid driver’s license or state ID card. Military, government, university, or recognized corporate ID. Passport, alien registration card, or certificate of naturalization. And, a current lease, mortgage, or deed of trust, voter or vehicle registration card or home or vehicle insurance policy.” My head spins. Huh? I just want a PO Box not a visa to live in a foreign country. I’m clearly too amped up to fully comprehend. I have just come from Whole Foods…again. I know. I know. New Trader Joe’s down the street—copy. I only went to Whole Foods again for one reason and one reason only: to stock up on their gluten free, sugar free short bread cookies…I go through them quickly. The only thing I did not get for my $104 from Whole Foods is the damn package of cookies! A menacing grrrrr gurgles up to my sharp as a tack mind. Me in a grocery store without a list is never a good idea. I have no one to blame for the lack of gluten free, sugar free cookies in my possession but damn Whole Foods! The bulk nut section—I had no idea I wanted organic, raw brazil nuts—rice milk on sale and a new brand of sugar free chocolate ice cream distracted me. The latter is $4 a tub cheaper than the kind I normally buy. I hope it’s fit to eat.
I try not to project my bitterness about the cookies on the post office employee. I stick with my default apologetic tone. “I have my driver’s license with me, is that enough?” She points at an either/or bullet-point section on the form I am to fill out. “No. I need one of these three in addition to the driver’s license.” I momentarily freeze. Crap. I have to run home! I don’t have all that with me. Should I drive back and get the cookies first? I snap out of my cookie obsessed coma and try and focus as I scan the list. Some of the words start to look familiar. Wait. I have my car insurance and registration with me! Hello, it’s in the glove compartment of my truck. Duh. “I have both,” I practically shout from my realization. My zeal is off the charts. She actually smiles at me—her bold lip color makes it all the more pronounced. I’m not sure if it’s a condescending, “oh, you sad, loony lady” smile or a “you’re enthusiasm is infectious” smile. I choose the second interpretation. “Fill out this form and come back.” “Great, thanks!” I’m hyped up from a tri-serving of forgetting the cookies agitation, excitement about my new venture and a general case of nervous anticipation. I haven’t had a PO box in years, since I sold my old company. There’s something invigoratingly fun and hopeful about opening a new one—a promise that I will “receive.”
Getting a PO Box has been on my to-do list for a while now. I need a mailing address for my online presence—at least until I’m a movie mogul and have an actual production office that isn’t my home. It hasn’t been a big rush because I’m technically not doing business yet. It became a priority this week after a meeting with the joie de vivre friend who came up with the really cool, creative idea to engage people on a personal level to interact and get involved with my new venture’s concept and mission. We’re hoping to roll it out in February. Details will be coming soon. For now just know that it will potentially involve receiving large amounts of mail, especially if it sparks people’s imaginations. Enter the expedited need for a PO Box and the nervous anticipation in the aforementioned trifecta. What is going to happen? How will people react? What will be their response? Will anyone respond at all? Not knowing the answers induces thunderous heart pounding but the good kind. The kind you get when you’re just beginning to fall in love and you’re about to see the object of your growing amour—How will he/she react to my new hair cut? Will he/she be as cute as they were last night? Will I feel the same? Where is this going? I wonder, “Where is this going?” I can speculate. I can hope. I can imagine. I can dream. But, I won’t know for sure until I do it.
“I’m ready,” I timidly say as I step back up to the counter. I notice the woman’s nametag—Consuelo—as she goes through my form and takes my ID and registration. According to Wikipedia, Consuelo is a female given name meaning “solace”, “hope” and “consolation” in Spanish. Lovely. I’ll take all three. I vow to wear red lipstick the next outing I go on that I’m not wearing jeans. After much debate and panic and texting joie de vivre friend about the size of the PO Box to get, the transaction is official. Consuelo hands me two golden keys to seal the deal. They sparkle even in the dull florescent light of the post office. I swear their twinkle gives me a wink! I am momentarily lost in the endless possibilities the keys represent. Then I notice Consuelo is no longer smiling—the entire process has taken over 15 minutes and a long line has formed behind me. “Thank you so much. You were so patient and kind,” I quickly say to her with an extra repentant quality, just to let her know I mean it, and, of course, I’m sorry in general. I give my best “forgive me” glance at the grumbling mini-mob then I get the heck out of there, new keys clutched in my hand.
I reflect on my think outside the box inside the box and create from what you have exercise as I drive home. I feel confident that joie de vivre friend’s idea is an exciting example of what I mean. Even though I don’t know exactly what will show up in the PO Box, I know it will add to what I have to create from. This notion sends my heart aflutter all over again. I’m open and ready to receive whatever the PO Box brings. I welcome the endless possibilities.
Until tomorrow, create from what you have…the metaphorical keys to endless possibilities.