The other day I played taxi. Well, okay, I play taxi every day but especially on Friday afternoons and evenings. I don’t know why, but my kids have it in their heads that it is my duty as a mother to make sure they are not only entertained, but transported—along with their friends—between various locations of entertainment.
Not that I mind. It makes me happy to see them being social and enjoying themselves. I get nothing done when I spend my night in the car, but that’s beside the point, right?
Okay, so given that I spend so much time in the car, and considering that I’ve lived in our current city of residence for twelve years, you’d think I could easily find just about any home of friends who might invite my kids to a party. You’d think.
Not so. I got my girls and their friends in the car on Friday. We ran a few places, dropping my younger daughter at a party, picking up a friend, dropping off another friend, and then headed for another birthday party. As we’re driving to this place, my daughter reads me the address and I realize I have no idea where this house is. I don’t even know where the street is.
First thing we do is call my husband. He’s lived in this city for most of his life, so I figure he’ll tell me exactly how to find the place. Unfortunately, he had no idea either. At this point, my daughter goes, “Why don’t we ask Leslie’s dad.”
“Why him?” I ask.
“Because, Mom,” she says. “Leslie’s dad knows where everyone in the city lives. You give him an address out of the phone book, and he can tell you the names of the people who live there.”
“Okaaaayyy…” I said. “That’s a little creepy.”
“No it isn’t,” she insisted. “He’s a mail man. He knows all that stuff because he delivers the mail.”
“Ah,” I said. “Okay, then.” So Leslie called her dad and asked for directions. He gave us exact directions from start to end. And let me tell you, I would never have found it otherwise. Then I got thinking about what comes in my mail, and wondered something.
“Hey Leslie,” I asked. “I bet your dad gets to see some interesting things when he’s delivering people’s mail.”
She shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. I mean, he knows when people move, and what colleges they’re accepted to, and when they get mission calls.”
I nodded. “Yep. I always wonder what the post man thinks when he picks up the submission packets I send out.”
She didn’t know the answer to that. And I’m sort of glad, because some questions are probably best left unanswered. But I’ll tell you this. When I get that big awesome acceptance contract—I hope the mailman isn’t the first to know. When I do, I hope whatever editor or agent is getting a hold of me doesn’t waste time sending stuff in the mail. I hope they get on the phone and call me so I can stand up in the middle of whatever I’m doing—wherever I am—and yell and scream and cause a scene.
Because, I want to be the FIRST to know.
But if you’re ever lost, and need to find your way, forget about using mapquest. Just ask a postman! Those guys know their city. And they give excellent directions.