Remember ninth grade health class? It has to take the cake for “most interesting class” of high school. Here you tackle sex education and all that comes with it- like methods of contraception, anatomy, and sexually transmitted diseases (complete with pictures on an overhead in my class). You also learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. I can still remember when Ms. Carol Meier, my ninth grade health teacher, talked to our class about alternatives to drug use. She distributed a list of “natural highs”- activities that deliver a similar euphoria as drugs. I wish I had that list today. Of the twenty or so items on the list, I can only remember this one: getting mail.
Yes, mail. I remember reading that and saying, “Yes!” I loved getting mail, and still do today. It is indeed a natural high for me. And it seems I am among a small group of adults who still love it even though the box is sometimes filled with bills. My love of mail prevails over the discouragement of bills. A few years ago my mom bought me a letter opener for Christmas…a perfect gift idea for a mail lover like me, right? Not really. The euphoria of unopened envelopes is so strong I rarely can make it all the way to my desk where the opener is stored. The anticipation is too great. I rip them open halfway down the driveway.
Here is a constant scenario for me: I get the mail only to discover that my wife has received more envelopes than me. I want to allow her to experience the “high” too, but my own need burns deep. I stare at the envelopes addressed to her. I begin thinking of how I might justify opening them. I could say to her, “it looked like a bill or some financial thing” since I do our finances. Or I could say, “even though it was only addressed to you, it looked like it was something for both of us.” I must confess sometimes I do open her mail! What can I say? Mail is my natural high.