Sunday, January 3, 2010

Going Postal

I stood in line at the crowded holiday post office. I had three manila envelopes in my arms, all stuffed with application material: letters, transcripts, portfolio, etc.

The woman in front of me had four boxes wedged against her body - a bright red sweater bunched awkwardly around her waist exposing two inches of flesh. I couldn't stop staring.
She must have felt this because suddenly she turned around, caught sight of my envelopes, asked, "You mailing Christmas stuff too?"
I shook my head, explained I was trying to meet application deadlines.
She craned her neck in order to read one of the school names. "Oh," she said with a scoff, "you do not want to go there."
Obviously I do if I'm currently holding an application in my hand. But instead I just asked, why.
"The weather is miserable, you'd hate it."
I would?
Have we met?

This prompted the woman behind me to pipe in, "My nephew goes there and loves it!"
These women started discussing the school and I found myself no longer included in the conversation.

I've had countless people ask me where I'm applying then promptly inform me where I should or should not attend. They always have "solid evidence" to back up their statements - ie:
Their governor is an idiot.
I went there for vacation and they have the worst food imaginable.
Good luck finding a decent husband.

Complete strangers informing me what I will like.
These two women, strangers, felt the need to look at me and explain what is best for me.

I feel sorry for whoever is on the receiving end of their gift boxes and Christmas cards. I can only imagine what's written inside - "You are just going to love this!"

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