There is a postal worker I see every few days when I mail packages. Her name is P and for the last several months that I have lived in Berkeley, I had the impression that she was a bit crabby or didn’t like me. But suddenly at the window last week, everything was different. She asked me about the baby, when he was due, what his name is, etc.
When I told her the name she exclaimed, “That’s a terrible name!” and I laughed as her brown skin and freckles scrinched up on her face in mock disgust. She offered up other names like Mystic and Jordan and the name of a football player that she liked but couldn’t quite remember the name of… The one that started with an L.
She surprised me and I blushed when she said she wouldn’t sell me a whole sheet of stamps but only 10 because, “This way you’ll come back to the window sooner.”
We all want to be connected.
As I walked away, I remembered Margarita from my old post office who I would see nearly every day, who got mad at me when I started using the automated postal machine for my priority packages. Who said, “Girl, if I ever see you using that machine again and not waiting in line to see me, you’re gonna get it.”
Either I have a special way with the ladies at the post office, or we are all hungry for human connection.
I know from working at home alone that my first human contact of the day is often the UPS guy or the teenager that checks me in at the YMCA. I probably seem overly eager to them as well, like a puppy that hasn’t been out all day.
What I really want to say is that each of these connections matters. In the same way that those ladies at the post might be my first human contact of the day, I might be theirs too. They remind me that we all matter. Everywhere we go we matter. And that we take that for granted. We think, “Oh, I won’t go to the meeting/ the party/ the class. No one will miss me anyway.”
But the truth is, we all matter and we are all missed.
Even here, on this blog. Each comment left is a thread of connection that I cherish.
And if y’all ever stop commenting, you’re totally gonna get it.