I've said before then when you're living far away from home nothing is better than getting mail. Letters are nice, but big, fat packages are the best. That can be a dangerous thing because unless you've got family and friends sending you stuff, well, you're going to find a way to fill the void all on your own. When you live in the North and Chapters, Amazon and Future Shop offer up free shipping, only badness can result.
So myself and Cathy have done a bit of ordering in the past few weeks. But while getting the packages is lovely, waiting for them can be infuriating. We're patient....to a point. And that point is when we feel we should have gotten our stuff and it hasn't arrived yet. It takes about a week after we've ordered something for the frustration to begin to creep in from the edges. If it goes two weeks and there is still nothing, well, there are discussions about burning down the post office as retaliation against Canada Post for not getting our stuff to us in time. Yes, it's somewhat short sighted because if there is no post office, where is the mail going to go? But at that point we're starting to become a little crazed.
We don't even dwell on the six weeks in took for The Complete Calvin and Hobbes to reach us. It was a dark time.
The mail has become like a drug and we need a hit. Cracking open our mail box and finding bills or something just isn't going to cut it. We need the little white card saying we have a package.
But the worst, in many ways, is when the company we're ordering from sends a tracking number. That way, you can check every...goddamn...day on the Canada Post site to see where the package is. Sometimes several times a day, just on the off-chance the package has magically teleported between Montreal and Iqaluit in the last hour.
I had an order of graphic novels that managed to make it from Missasauga to Montreal in one day. It then took two weeks to make it from Montreal to Iqaluit via expedited mail. I was getting seriously cranky towards the end. Cathy was on her 8th or 9th reading of some Laurell K. Hamilton book waiting for an order from Chapters. It was getting desperate.
So proving it never rains but it pours, yesterday we got four packages in the mail. One from Amazon, two from Chapters and one from my mom. It was a very happy day at the Welsh household. And what did I get?
Serenity: Those Left Behind by Josh Weadon
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Fables: Homelands by Bill Willingham
New X-Men, Vol. 1 HC by Grant Morrison
Conan: The God in the Bowl and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek
A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester
The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery
Star Trek: New Frontier - Missing in Action by Peter David
So it was a tidy haul. That doesn't even include my mom's package.
Now, you have to understand this about my mother. I love my mom. Everyone loves my mom. Many of my friends love my mom more than they like me. This is a frequent comment regarding my mom: "Craig, your mom is really nice. And she is so cool. Are you sure you're not adopted?"
So my mom rocks. And the packages she sends are great.
However, my mother is a tad...eccentric. I mean that only in the nicest of ways, but there you go. So in the Easter package she sent up there was the usual candy (nothing with nuts this time, having finally learned that chocolate with nuts is great for me, but would put my lovely wife in the hospital or potentially the morgue.) And she puts some socks in there, which is fine. It's a mother thing to do.
The tins of tuna, however, are a little vexing.
I was talking to her about it and she put them in to "fill space in the envelope and tuna seemed like a good idea."
She added that while I probably wouldn't like it, she thought Cathy might.
Cathy is allergic to all seafood. I'm really certain I've mentioned this before.
Weirdness. Ah well, a package is still a good thing. Even if it contains tiny cans of death. In spring water.
Devils and Dust - Bruce Springsteen