Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Junk Mail

Although the economy is currently not performing understatement if there ever was one...that hasn't stopped the flow of junk mail from entering my mailbox. The U.S. Postal Service may be in dire straits, but if everyone is getting the volume of mail that I am...I can't see how.

Just yesterday, I received not one but TWO Vera Bradley "Home for the Holidays" full color 43 page catalogs. It even has paperdolls in the middle. This is apparently because I do not get enough information from the daily e-mail that I receive from them. Yeah, okay.

Here's an ad from Stein-Mart. Ooh, a coupon for 20% off any one item! That might come in handy...but it isn't good until the I'll either try to use it before then and get angry when they won't take it...or I will go into the store on the 19th. If I had a dollar for every time I misread a coupon...

This notice from the church with upcoming mission trip opportunities for the Youth Department looks interesting. Kenya for $2,700, Domincan Republic for $1,800, or Texas for $400. TEXAS? Why aren't kids in Texas handling Texas?

Ah, there are two privacy notices here...must be notice season again. I always get fired up thinking I'm getting mail, but then I realize that it is just a stack of privacy notices. Kind of reminds me of each spring when I get the annual reports of the companies I own stock in (the 401-k...don't be jealous). Oh, but here's an invitation to dinner to discuss my retirement account at a local country club. Catch...catch...OH...they suggest that "people who have $250,000+ in their investment portfolios (retirement or 401k) typically get the most out of working with us." Really? After last year, you have how many clients and that many fewer prospects? Guess we'll be skipping that one.

There's also an application for the "9th Annual Turkey Burner" a 5K run and one mile fun run/walk. While I appreciate that this was sent to my daughter (or current resident), I won't be doing any turkey burning except for any calories that I expend while cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.

Here's a plea from a local charity, my daily credit card offer from one of two relentless banks that have sent me no fewer than 150 requests for a card (and don't tell me to stop them...I enjoy watching the trends), and an ad from Lowe's. There are three bank statements, one rebate check (for $6...score!) and the Reader's Digest. (I adore Reader's Digest...have since I was a kid...)

I think about all of the jobs that exist to create the ads that I so thoughtlessly toss aside, the advertising budgets that bring me these shopping opportunities, and the various events that are constantly ongoing. The economy may be sour...but somebody's working...

But in all of this mail...there is one piece that I have yet to open...and that is my church commitment card for 2010. It is important for many reasons. Not only does the church know what I plan to do financially...but what I am going to do to help keep the ministries operating as well.

This has always been tricky for me. I have never found my niche with regard to church service...unlike Big Dave. He has been cooking breakfast on first Sunday for the past fifteen years, donates blood (6 gallons and counting), and drives the parking lot shuttle. He is called upon to help with special events (food service related) and he has also taught four year old Sunday school, driven a van for youth trips, and done numerous other jobs that needed doing.

Me? I was a facilitator for a group of 9th grade girls (I had to ban the use of the word "weed" as it was all they talked about), I did some other various jobs within the Youth Department, I brought snacks to the Contemporary Worship Service band, and I signed up to help with the "Apples of Gold" program...and became an "apple" instead of a "mentor". I have no idea which box to check this year. I'm thinking of throwing darts but I'd probably hit the nursery or something random like signing up for a medical mission trip to Haiti (I can think of no person less qualified to handle either of these).

Anyway, I will admit that in my world junk mail is better than no mail at all. I've been a mail fiend since I was a little girl, and I LOVE getting a handwritten note. Rebate checks are definitely my second favorite.

So, I'll figure out how to deal with my junk mail...and maybe I'll even flip through one of my Vera Bradley or LL Bean Catalogs. You never know...

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