Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Holiday Moment

With out-of-towners coming the for holidays, I've been pretty busy. So this AM, I make a mad dash for the grocery store to pick up some last minute stuff. I stop at the Post Office to express mail a letter that must go out. By the way, sixteen dollars? What, do they think they're DHL?

The line is interminable as usual. There seem to be maybe two workers at the counter, and one of them is helping these two ladies with an entire postal bin worth of small boxes. The packages look so uniform and brand, spanking new that I surmise they're eBayers, or something. Now I start getting annoyed. I'm thinking to myself, "They can't break this up. Shouldn't there be provisions for bulk mailing?" One of the ladies turns and starts making pleasant small talk with the crowd, for that's what the line has become. She seems to find the plethora of packages amusing. I don't...until she tells us the packages are for the troops. STOP Freeze frame.

Suddenly, the entire atmosphere is changed. Gone is the exasperation and frustration in the air.
A young woman with a baby on her hip tells us her husband is in the army, that they are so touched when they receive those packages from people they don't know. Now, we wait contentedly on our stationary line, more workers materialize, and good cheer and some dispatch reign. Like that Liberty Insurance commercial, we are falling over ourselves being nice to each other. The older woman in front of me, leaps to help the young mother with her oversized package. A gentleman on his way out the door stops and thanks the young woman for the sacrifice her family is making. And I am reminded of the essential goodness of Americans.

I am also heartened by the obvious and tacit support for our troops. Let Hollywood and the media think what they will when the latest antiwar epic bombs, I know the truth, and so do you.

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