I have a treasure chest. No, it’s not the top half of my body, with those things perched on it. Although, ‘perched’ might be the wrong word to use now for those things (as well as ‘treasure’, but let’s not dwell on that). Life’s a funny ol’ bag of weasels, eh? It’s such a liberation when we relinquish the stress of maintaining our ‘desirability factor’, and we can just be ourselves once again. But before that, we can’t imagine a time when we would ever be glad to relinquish it – at least not whilst still drawing breath. Yet, it happens. Whilst we may remember with fondness the things that once perched and perked in all the right places, somehow we still survive very nicely when they don’t anymore.
Which is nothing to do with actual treasure chests, but that’s where my thoughts wandered off to, being the free-spirited things that they are. My actual treasure chest, which is actually a (pretty) cardboard box, has no gold in it, nor ill-gotten gains. I’m too much of a goody-two-shoes to have ill-gotten gains. I hold onto the hope, though, that I will achieve some sort of badness before I “shuffle off this mortal coil”, to quote Shakespeare, of whom I have absolutely no knowledge. However, I have a major handicap to achieving true badness – I can’t help thinking about how the other person will feel if they’re ripped off, or treated unfairly. It’s a bit of a nuisance, really. A truly bad person doesn’t give a rat’s arse about this. My only hope is to get creative about how I can ‘do bad’ without being bad. It’s a work of art, I reckon.
Coming back to treasure chests, which I seem determined to wander away from (does this count as being a bit bad – or just a bit mad?) – we no longer need them to keep stashes of gold in, now that money’s mostly a virtual pie-in-the-sky concept, and we have plastic cards instead. My treasure chest contains memories. It bemuses me that when I was younger, and couldn’t even conceive of being 62 years old, I actually kept things in order to enjoy the future memory of them. I can’t quite figure out what part of me was at work there. However, we don’t always need to know the answers to everything, especially now that I am closer to the end of needing to know things, than the beginning of needing to know them. I still have an incurably curious mind, but I’m more discerning with what I load it up with these days.
One of the memories in my treasure chest is a letter I received from my young nephew in 1992. Firmly eschewing any desire to pop out my own rug-rats, I kept some of the things that my nieces and nephews bestowed upon me, instead. This letter, featured in the header pic and below, which was crafted, folded, and taped up by wee hands, made it to me several hundred kilometres away impressively intact. This rather ragged and fragile-looking affair is a work of love, and 28 years ago NZ Post got it to me without mishap.
This got me thinking about what other treasures we have in our lives, those we don’t give much thought to. I decided that the postal service was of them. Yep, that’s the snail-mail postal service. Before the internet, we only had snail-mail, and I think of the billions of letters that would have been sent around the world in the postal service’s heyday. Letters that are now treasures from long-dead recipients and senders. Letters that are kept in museums. Letters from little nephews. I know that anything put on the internet is there forever, and maybe one day we’ll have retrieval services that dig for treasure, rather than just dirt. But right now, if you have hand-written letters from anyone, keep them, because they are fast becoming rare items. Especially keep them if their contents will shock your family, after you’re dead 😊 (Note to self: make some shit up for this very purpose! With any luck, death isn’t final, and I’ll get to have a laugh or two about this afterwards)
So, 28 years after getting my nephew’s letter, I wrote – i.e. emailed (yeah, I know) – to NZ Post, and thanked them for getting this delivery so spectacularly right. The reply was fairly quick coming back to me – and probably from someone who wasn’t even a twinkle in her mother’s eye 28 years ago – lol!
NZ Post National Contact Centre <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wed, 4 Mar, 12:24
Thank you for contacting NZ Post.
I appreciate the time you have taken to write to us. Its not everyday that we receive emails as such.
I hope you have a wonderful day.
Customer Services Representative
National Contact Centre
And, no, I don’t have too much time on my hands. This is just the kind of thing I do, because that’s how my head works. Maybe it makes me a tad weird, if anything, but one thing about getting b’older, it’s that ‘weird’ increasingly feels just fine 😊