Thursday, June 26, 2008

In the Mail

I spent most of yesterday grappling with the dreaded arrival of . . . the mail pouch. In a nod to the double life we’re leading, Joey’s company has provided us with a PO box back in New Jersey at which we can receive mail. And as they put it, they “pouch” the contents to us every few weeks.

We’re not clear on how it actually gets here: Do they pitch it onto the next boat out of New York harbor? Do they use some secret-agent interoffice mail service? Do they stick it in the suitcase of a hapless executive traveling from HQ to Singapore? However they do it, they thoughtfully transport the contents of our PO box halfway around the world to Joey’s desk.

And what, you may ask, is so valuable that it gets ferried to us across continents and oceans? Good question. Our friends and family use our address in Singapore if they write to us, and our US banking and bills we do online. So usually our haul looks something like this:

a few issues of BusinessWeek from last month (there’s nothing like reading the weekly market tips a few weeks late)

several alumni communications (our Ivy League alma mater and top-20 b-school are, naturally, desperate for funds)

and, mostly, tons of the same junk mail we’ve been patiently shredding for years.

Yes, the company thoughtfully ships us those credit card offers, personal loan ads, and sweepstakes entries so that we can personally evaluate them. Surely we wouldn’t want to miss that chance to refinance at a low, low rate! And of course we’d want to know we’ve been personally selected for an exclusive card membership!

Lesson learned: you can leave the junk mail, but the junk mail won’t leave you. I suppose I should appreciate the little touch of home: sitting in Singapore, as I slowly feed the pile of junk mail through the shredder, it almost feels as if I never left New Jersey.