Until Further Notice…


After the policeman and I finished up our business, I drove off in a daze to the post office. Being a creature of habit as well as being an individual who did not adapt very  well to change, I was having an extremely difficult time trying to come to grips with what was occurring in my life.

In my previous life, anything that deviated from the status quo made me uneasy. But back then, fortunately nothing much out of the ordinary or unexpected happened too often. However, since the day I filed for divorce, my taken-for-granted lifestyle had been violently and suddenly tossed by the wayside. In its place, chaos, fear and uncertainty took up residence. Every day had become an exercise in adjusting to that new life I didn’t have a clue how to live. So to say I was slightly apprehensive, nervous and fearful when I entered the post office was a gross understatement. That was just another confirmation that my situation was real and my life was changing rapidly whether I liked it or wanted it or not.

Once inside the surroundings of my neighborhood post office that I frequented on a regular basis for over two decades, I was mortified to feel that what had once been so familiar and comfortable to me suddenly seemed so foreign and strange. For some reason I couldn’t figure out what to do or how to do it. Even the mundane task of getting my daily mail had taken on a whole different meaning and significance. Nothing in my life was humdrum or commonplace anymore.

I approached a postal worker and asked for assistance on how to undertake what I perceived to be the difficult and mind-boggling procedure of obtaining a P.O. Box. All of a sudden I felt like I was transported to a new planet where I didn’t have a clue how to function. The kind, middle-aged gentleman pointed to a table in the center of the room where forms for change of address were placed. I felt the sudden need to explain why I was undertaking this unusual measure, but I could see from the expression on his face that he could have cared less who I was, what my situation was or why I needed to rent a mailbox.

I had to keep reminding myself that simply having my mail temporarily delivered to a new address wasn’t the end of the world and I would survive that transition. Nervously, I picked up the applications and proceeded to fill in the required information.

Why was I having such a difficult time focusing and answering simple questions like my name…current address…where I wanted my mail to be delivered to…etc?

From the way I was reacting and behaving, you’d think I was suddenly placed in the formidable position of finding a cure for cancer, solving the middle east peace crisis and balancing our nation’s budget simultaneously, instead of the piddly, benign chore I was carrying out.

However, in my heart I knew exactly why I was so unnerved by my new undertaking. Truth be told, I was scared out of my mind, shaking in my boots, worried beyond reason of how Dick was going to react when he would find out that I’d forwarded Ashley’s and my mail.

With my heart pounding and sweat accumulating in the palms of my hands, I answered the question to the best of my ability and then took my place in line to wait for the next available clerk. When it was my turn, I approached the counter, handed over my completed paperwork and waited while everything was checked over. After all appeared correct, I paid for my new acquisition and was given a set of keys to my new mail delivery receptacle.

A supervisor led me to my new small parcel of rental real estate and then proceeded to explain that I would need to contact everyone who sent Ashley and me mail and give them our new address. “WHAT!!!”  I exclaimed in total amazement. “This was only temporary. Didn’t the post office just forward our mail to the box?” The supervisor informed me that after about 30 days or so, anything that was not addressed to the P.O. Box would be returned to sender as undeliverable.

That wasn’t what I expected. I began to question what I was getting myself into. In addition to being totally inconvenienced by having to make daily mail runs, I’d also have to inform all friends, family, Ashley’s school, magazines, insurance and credit card companies, and literally anyone who would be sending any correspondence to us of our new temporary address. What a major pain in the ass this was turning out to be.

And to think that hopefully sooner rather than later, I’d get to go through that whole process all over again in reverse.


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