I made my friend Kristel three mix-CDs at the beginning of the month and I just got around to mailing them on Tuesday night. I really don't have a good excuse, so I'll admit my bad excuses:
1. I didn't have stamps.
2. I didn't have an envelope that would fit three CDs.
3. The post office is two blocks north of my house. Since I only ever go south to take the train downtown, the two block walk north feels like an eternity. I know this is yet another example of my irrational thinking process, since the train station is three blocks south.
Anyway, on Monday night I received a package from Kristel. Yes! She sent me a CD! Yes! I have an envelope now! So I take put her CDs in to the same large, manila envelope (clever!), fold it back over, cross out her writing, turn it over, and address the other side. I knew it looked pathetic, but as long as I'm not only eating ramen noodles every night, I figure I can get away with some collegiate frugality every now and then. Plus, I wrote "Always recycle" on the envelope with the little circle of arrows around it. Ha! I'm so cute!
So on Tuesday I ended up going straight from work to Kristin's house. I was carrying the package for Kristel in my bag and I wanted to mail it since I promised her these CDs about two weeks ago, so I stepped into the UPS store near the Armitage / Halsted intersection.
I'd never been in a UPS store before. I still don't understand why they exist, because they're basically post offices except the people who work there don't have to pass a civil service exam. I guess the women who live nearby don't really want to carry their Betsy Johnson purchases to the real post office, and that long wait just kills their Aldo'd feet. Besides, they've got to meet their GFs at the vegan raw bar for brunch in fifteen minutes and they DO NOT have the time to fill out those Priority Mail slips.
So I went in the UPS store and I gave the dude (he was SUCH a dude) my package. He flipped it over twice; I guess the writing on both sides (and the post-marked stamps on Kristel's side - alright, I'll give him a break here) were just too much for him. When he figured it out, he weighed it and came back to me and said, "Okay, it's one dollar and seventy five cents." I pulled out my credit card and handed it to him, and then he made a face as if I had just shot his dog.
"Ohhh," he said. "We can't take that. There's a two-dollar minimum."
So there I was in the Lincoln Park UPS Store. I already looked like an ass because I'm re-using a manila envelope. I couldn't pay for postage because I didn't have cash. I also had a pimple above my lip that made me look like I had a bad case of the Herp, so I'm sure they thought I was a young man of ill repute. And THEN I had to stand there for about five seconds without a clue about what to do and wishing I had just walked the two blocks to the post office because those sassy women hate everyone, not just the ones who are obviously in the wrong neighborhood.
Luckily, a woman who was shipping a digital camera at the other register said, "I've got two dollars!" and paid for my postage. I thanked her a few hundred times and got the hell out of there, but not before UPS Dude told me he "would find something to cover up this other side of the envelope". Thanks.