Price worth paying
Posted on June 2nd, 2012
Yesterday morning, the letter carrier rang our doorbell several hours before he ordinarily brings our mail. He had packages, which required postage, and he wanted to make sure that, if we didn’t have any money around, we could get it together by ordinary delivery time. (He is an awesome letter carrier.)
The postage due was about $12, and I wrote a check to the Postmaster. It was due because my mother sent Pea two boxes for her birthday, as cheaply as possible, and those won’t forward like priority mail boxes.
Of course, I still agonize over whether it’s worth it to give Pea the stuff my mother sends. If my mother really cared about a relationship with her, she’d call or otherwise try to be involved in Pea’s life. Instead, twice a year, she sends random things (and yes, truly random: one of the boxes was full of books she’d gotten cheaply and used, which was fine — they are good books — but the other had a wrapped present and then a dollar store bag of drinking straws). This lets her feel that she is a good grandmother, and let’s face it: sending a couple of boxes twice a year does not a relationship make.
I’ve put a lot of thought into it, and decided I don’t feel that it’s my place to not give these to Pea (even if she hadn’t been right there at the time — there was no avoiding it). I don’t know why; it’s probably irrational. I feel sorry that this is the grandmother she’s stuck with, so she might as well reap some small benefit from her. And while there’s no telling what’s in the wrapped box, the books were nice, and we had great fun dissolving biodegradable packing peanuts in the sink afterward. She has taken the straws into her room, for what purpose, I have no idea.
Even with all that ambiguity, it was well worth the $12. If I’d refused the postage and they’d gone back, my mother would have gotten them with the forwarding address sticker the USPS slaps onto a forwarded letter or package. $12 is worth having her not know where we live.