I have never really understood that term. Don’t get me wrong I know where is comes from but I just don’t have the same experience with “postal” as many do. Growing up in my little bitty town my grandmother was the front window clerk at the post office. She worked there for over 35 years. She once filed her papers for retirement but then decided that she didn’t want to leave. So my “postal” experience was much different. My mom and grandpa would take me there to visit and I would sit on the high counter. I really thought I was something special and the people there did too. She was stamp my hand with “Fragile” or Special Delivery” in the bright red ink and everyone was sure to see how special I was. My grandmother was known my so many in the town. This was all before internet and email and on-line shopping and bill pay and such. You went to the post office and you mailed your bills and picked up your mail. She would always buy for the me the newest and neatest stamps that came out. She always wore this rubber fingertip things on her thumb and forefinger. I am only to assume that they help sift and shuffle the mail without the worry of a paper cut. She was “postal” to me.
I have visited a few more post offices since she passed away and I still get the same feeling of nostalgia every single time, no matter what I’m there to do. I have mail packages and picked up packages and bought stamps. Every single time I am there and I have contact with the clerk I see my grandmother in them. I see it in their smile. I see it in their continuous, no matter where I am, willingness to help. They all have a smile on their faces and always greeting people and asking them about their families. I see her in each one. Just the other day I had to mail a package. I went to a post office that I had never been before. When I got to the counter the lady helping me had on those same rubber finger covers. It hit me hard. It was like she was right there with me. I almost asked her if she would stamp my hand. (Kidding) But it did take me back and remind me so much of the lady that everyone adored in town. I was always proud to tell someone that I was her granddaughter.
So every time I have to go the post office in whatever town I’m in I always remember that “going postal” is really so much different to me than the intended use. “Going Postal” is about stamps on the hand, about a little girl sitting on the high counter like a princess, about the rubber finger things, about new stamps, and about a grandmother that I loved and miss everyday.