The phone calls originated from a CA town where we’ve never lived. The first two calls were hang-ups, then three voice mails, delivered in a shaky female voice: “I have your card. Please call me back.”
“My card? What card?” he worried. He checked his wallet; all of his credit cards were in place.
The next voice mail included more information: “I’m not Barbara, yet your card arrived here.”
My guy was even more confused. He doesn’t send cards. He pays bills, and that’s the extent of his use of stamps. Me? I love snail mail cards and send them often: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, get wells, and any-excuse-to-send-this-cute-card-to-a-friend card.
“How would this lady have a card from me to some Barbara, and then how would she know my phone number?” my guy pondered.
The proverbial light bulb flashed over my head. “Wellll, I know a Barbara in that town,” I mused. I checked my calendar. “And I sent her a birthday card two weeks ago.”
So I did what any card-carrying snail mail user would do. I called the “crank” number from my guy’s phone.
A frail voice answered: “I’m so glad you finally called back, sir!”
“Hello, I’m Pam, his wife,” I declared. “I’m the card-mailer of the family. How did you get our phone number?” Cut to the chase, I figured.
She seemed confused by my question. “Why, I looked it up from your return address on the card.”
Now I’m a little worried. How many people Google a phone number to call a stranger and tell them…. what is she trying to tell us?
So I asked that question next.
She replied: “You sent a card to Barbara, right? I live at 1622 on Myrtle Drive. Where does she live?”
I quickly checked my address book. “Oh,” I answered, a bit deflated. “My friend Barbara lives at 1642 Myrtle.”
“What? Speak up dear. I’m almost deaf.”
“No worries, I’ll just pop this card in a bigger envelope and mail it.” she said.
Wow. How sweet. I felt badly that she had to go to all that trouble, but she insisted that Barbara should get her birthday card.
As soon as we hung up, I called Barbara, who was standing in line at her grocery store. “So you thought I forgot your birthday?!” I began.
“WHAT?” Then Barbara laughed when I told her the snail mail snafu. “When I get home and put away the groceries, I’ll stop by the lady’s house. No reason for her to go to all that trouble.”
An hour later, Barbara called me back. Minutes after she got home from the store, her doorbell rang insistently, repeatedly. Barbara opened the door to find a woman a bit hunched over with long gray hair and a tall smile on her face.
Side note: The two women talked for almost half an hour, no longer strangers, now friends. And this, dear Reader, is why I love snail mail!