For some reason, I tend to do a lot of street talking with my local mailmen.  After our old carrier retired last year, our new carrier is even older, and perhaps, kinder, and he is a traditional Indian gentleman Sikh who wears a Dastar that matches the pewter blue color of his official United States Postal Service uniform.  He is very proper and absolutely resolute in everything he does.

We’ll call our new mailman “Jerry” to protect his privacy.  I always run into Jerry on the street, and I warned him when he first started that I would always say “Hi” when I saw him on the street just because I’m from the Midwest and that’s how we operate and I can’t help myself to pretend I don’t see him.  Jerry seemed to be okay with that, and we often exchange pleasantries on the street and oftentimes we stop and chat a bit.

At first, I always found it odd that I would bump into Jerry on the street everyday no matter the time of day, but since I walk everywhere, and since Jerry walks everywhere, I suppose it makes sense that we will often be on the same streets together.

The other day, Jerry and I bumped into each other right outside my apartment building, and he decided to hand me my mail instead of putting it in my box.  He told me there was some alumni mail from Columbia University, and I replied, “Love that!”

Without hesitation, Jerry dismissively said, “Oh, you love everything.”

For a nanosecond, I was taken aback by the negative tone of his voice and commentary, but I decided to forge on with the truth of the observation and replied, “You’re right!  I do love everything.  There’s so much hate in the world, it’s easier to love.”

Jerry, unconvinced, quietly said, “I guess that’s true.”

I took my mail and we said goodbye.

I wasn’t sure why Jerry felt he needed to make an observation about my stated loves — yes, I have publicly confessed to kissing many human and inanimate objects — but I wondered what difference it made to him?  I can’t remember one other time telling him I loved something, but he’s certainly been paying attention to my every move and utterance and stock of mail I make, stake, and take!

The funny part is that there are many things I do not love — just read this blog and know that! — but I am also pretty straightforward about expressing my love and admiration as often as possible.

As I now privately contemplate, and recount, my endless expressed loves, I still wonder why Jerry felt the need to reprimand me for loving everything — is that such a bad thing, after all?  Or does he think I’m cheapening the honorific Homeric notion by “loving everything” without cause or comment?


  1. Several thoughts … firstly he as only seen a very small part of you , you joyfully accept your mail whereas many may swear at every brown envelope or bill. Maybe it is a cultural thing – for him only a person can be loved and to love anything else is either undesired or cheapens the word love. Maybe he has lost the joy in his life and cannot comprehend someone who finds joy in many places.

    I say keep on loving ……………………

    1. Well said, Nicola! As ever, love your spot-on analysis!

      One thing I’ve recently started to notice is that he sometimes gives chocolate gold coins to young women he meets. He calls them “tips.” I wonder if that is a cultural totem or if something else is at play?

      1. I am hoping Katha can shed some light on this one.

        Although after reading your reply to Gordon I am starting to find the man a little disturbing …………………..

        1. It is a little odd to watch him give out the gold chocolate coins, not that he does it often, but the reaction he gets is, “Why are you tipping me with this?”

          1. I can well imagine.

            This would be highly froened on in the UK – giving chocolate to strangers in such a way – they get all itchy about Halloween and candy – they have to be non edible gift these days.

          2. That’s interesting — are gold coins of chocolate intended to be eaten — especially if you’ve been carrying them around in your coat pocket all day? Ick!

            Food allergies are big now here, too — so food as gifts are pretty much out — there’s even a drive afoot to find a way to “lower the perfume and cologne” level people use in shared office spaces to avoid unnecessary sneezing fits.

          3. Gold and silver wrapped coins are given as Christmas tree treats – they come in little “net bags” and are often known as pirates treasure – what that has to do with Christmas I do not know – BUT given singly after being in a pocket all day ICK.

  2. I notice things most don’t — and I haven’t particularly seen a pattern of “too much” love from you — as if that would be a bad thing! Maybe he’s used to crabby folk!

    1. Janna just reminded me of the time last week when he oddly poked me in the back while we were waiting in line at a store. It’s was a strange sensation being poked in the kidney, and it was cold day, and I wear lots of layers, so for me to feel a poke like that through all my coats, he had to do it sort of hard.

      When I turned around to try to figure out who was poking me, and it was him, I was relieved a bit, because that sort of poke is usually one that means “get out of the way!” or some similar argument to action like that is about to begin.

      Janna said she saw the whole thing, and he was clearly kidding around with the kidney poke, so his intentions were not one of trying to start something… I guess…

    1. Yeah, I don’t think he’s trying to be creepy or lewd or anything like that — he thinks he’s giving a special tip. There does seem to be a disconnect between the giving and the receiving, though.

  3. I suspect he thinks heis being kind – it may be like a grandfather giving a small gift to a grandchild or uncle to neice to him – whereas we are all to ready to be suspicious – lets face it every man like to make a pretty girl smile ………………….

    1. I think you’re right — men, as we age — need to be especially careful how we are viewed by young women. The behavioral line between helpful and super-creepy is paper-thin, I fear. Older women already know the game. SMILE!

  4. I think what you said is true David. There is so much hate in the world, definitely too much hate in my opinion. I think it does make it easier to just love everything. I also think that it is a good idea to like and accept everyone, at least until they give us a reason to dislike them.

    1. I like your thinking, Brielle! I had a manager once who advised me to relax and not think theatre producers are out to rip you off. He told me you can’t live expecting people to wrong you — you have to trust they won’t, as you won’t — and if they do wrong you, then you act; but to be suspicious by default is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. He was right, and I’ve worked on that sort of “neutrality” ever since when it comes to business.

      That said, personally, I can’t think of one reason to like a single hardcore Right Wing Teabagger — I have yet to find one compelling argument on that side or persuasive thought. I do not love them. SMILE!

      1. David – without darkness theircannot be light – they exisit so we see your light shining – and there are worse people in the world …………………………… Nope Loving them is not going to work is it – tolerate maybe ?????

        1. You’re right about that, Nicola — it’s just that the Teabaggery directly influences my life on a daily basis — and I loathe even having to tolerate listening to their perpetual and purposeful lies against the public good.

          1. I hear you David ……………. and yes I hear them too but choose not to listen – that is one of the wonders of freedom of speech – you can choose not to listen as well !

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