My natural high

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.


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