The mail slot

This is what happens when you just don't give a fuck...


I recently had an otherwise sane friend tell me my mom is now her personal hero. This was after I wrote about my mom’s home decorating innovations which include a hat in a cake container, a toilet bowl flower vase and a bouquet of Tootsie Pops.

I’m pretty sure my friend doesn’t feel admiration for my mom because of her sense of interior design; I’m pretty sure it’s because my mom clearly does not give a fuck what anyone else thinks.

If my mom thinks the bottom half of a toilet ought to be given a place of honor in her living room, then by God that’s where it’s going to be.

If a cake that was dropped on the kitchen floor can be glued back together with butterscotch pudding, then by God that’s what we’re eating for dessert.

If a broken microwave can still do service as a bookshelf, then by God visitors are going to have to open that microwave door if they want to read the literature inside.

My mom’s house is a tri-level with the living room, a bathroom and bedroom on the first level and the dining room, kitchen and TV area on the middle level. On one visit home I discovered the TV on the middle level still had a picture, but no sound, while the TV on the first level still had sound, but no picture.

The answer was obvious: you watch the TV on the middle level while the sound drifts up from the floor below. Changing channels is a bitch, but at least you get some exercise while doing so.

Bottom line: whatever makes sense to my mom is what she’s going to do and it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks.

Special delivery

My mom decided she wanted a mail slot that emptied into the house because she was afraid that someone might steal the mail from her outside mailbox.

Never mind that in 50 years of living in that house no mail had ever been stolen and the mail that comes to the house isn’t worth stealing and if you stole everything in the house you’d clear a solid $100 and then have to pay someone five times as much to haul the rest of the useless shit away.

Hell, when my mom passes away – and at 93 she clearly has no plans on doing so anytime soon – I’ll pay you $500 bucks to break in and ransack her house, stealing everything within those walls. It would save me and my brothers dozens of trips to the landfill.

(OK, actually it would save my brothers dozens of trips ‘cuz when my mom finally makes her long-awaited trip to Heaven I plan on avoiding California until that house is emptied of all the useless crap it contains.)

So where were we?

Right, the mail slot.

My mom is in her 90s and appears to have a boyfriend or companion or accomplice – pick the label that makes the most sense to you – and when she needs something done around the house, often gets him to do it.

So after deciding she wanted a mail slot, he agreed to put one in for her and you’d think that would mean cutting a hole in the front door so the mail would be on the foyer floor when my mom comes home.

O ye of little imagination.

Nope, these two geniuses applied almost 200 years of wisdom to the problem and decided the best location for a mail slot would be cutting through a wall that allows the mail to be delivered directly into the downstairs bathroom.

The above picture is real.

Industrial Light & Magic had nothing to do with it because even though George Lucas could imagine a complete universe far, far away, his mind could not conceive of a mail slot that delivers mail to a toilet.

If you don’t close the toilet lid the mail will be delivered directly into the toilet and then you have to dry out your electric bill and open it while using one of those glass boxes with gloves that movie scientists employ when dealing with a highly-toxic strain of the bubonic plague, or in this case, a flyer from Target.

If you time it right, you can get hit in the side of the head with the latest L.L. Bean catalogue while sitting on the toilet. And if you’re extremely lucky you can make eye contact with a mortified mailman.

And my mom does not care.

The secret weapon of indifference

As I approach the age where you start worrying about Social Security benefits and whether the system will keep churning out checks until you croak, I realize one of my greatest failings is caring what people think.

Don’t get me wrong; you should have a small group of friends – enough to carry your casket sounds about right – whose opinions matter greatly to you. If one of those friends, who’s going to love you no matter what, tells you that you’re behaving like a jackass; listen. They’ve got your best interest at heart.

But why care what complete strangers on social media think?

You know internet trolls are assholes because what other class of human being will follow you on Twitter and then continually make negative comments about what they’ve chosen to follow. They’ll show up in the comment section like it’s a 9-to-5 job that won’t allow them to punch out until they once again tell you how badly you suck. Do they also go to restaurants they don’t like so they can complain about the food?

My mom has no idea that Facebook or Twitter or Instagram exist, so she doesn’t have to worry about what complete strangers think of her. But what about the people she loves and love her back?

She doesn’t give a rat’s ass what they think either.

All things considered, you could do a lot worse than my mom when choosing a personal hero. But if you choose to follow in my mother’s footsteps, remember to keep your toilet lid closed so your mail stays dry.