I think things will always go well, leaving no room for problems or setbacks.
That has been my take on myself for years, and I honestly believed it. Even when my friend Dawn proved to me how anal I was and that I epitomized the Type A personality, I refused to believe my optimism had lagged.
It bit the big one Tuesday, though. When I got home from work Tuesday, there was a single sheet of paper lying on the kitchen table. That’s where my husband puts all the mail I’m supposed to look at.
I don’t like to look at mail and often fib about it, telling him I look at stuff when I don’t. I don’t like to see what meager investments I have backing up. I don’t like to know that Mom has failed to fill out an insurance questionnaire sent to her last month. Mail in her name often comes to our house since that’s the last place it was routed before her death three years ago.
And I really don’t like to look at something I think is fake.
Tuesday’s single sheet of paper came from the United States Postal Inspection Service, saying we may have had mail stolen and giving us a rundown of what we were supposed to do to check on this.
“Fraud,” I said, pushing the paper away. “This is a fake.”
It showed up in the mailbox without an envelope. It was written on a Sunday. The paper was plain, old bond without a watermark. And it showed up in the mailbox without an envelope!
The very making of fraud, in my optimistic mind.
Nobody at work thought so, though, which was slightly less than irritating. Here I’d uncovered a fraud, a mail fraud no less, and no one believed me.
So I took my camera and headed out to the post office, ready to shoot the response when somebody looked at this letter and freaked. Nobody did. It wasn’t fake. It was sent out in various areas of town to let people know what they should do if someone had stolen their mail.
Tom Soppeland told me so.
Tom’s married to my good friend Paulette, who works at Rieman Music. She says he’s a good man, an honest man, and she wouldn’t lie to me, so I must take his word for it that this letter isn’t a fake.
Rats. I’ve never run into fraud before and I’d spent all of Tuesday night figuring how to cover the story. So sure I was that it was fraud, my mind wouldn’t stop thinking about it and I spent two full hours after going to bed thinking about how to break the story. Finally it’s 2 a.m. and I have to get up to do something just to get my mind off the possibilities.
That something, of course, was e-mail and computer solitaire. Something I could do noiselessly in the dark. Well, almost noiselessly — our new mouse clicks, which drives me nuts. I don’t like little noises.
I don’t like a clicking mouse. I don’t figure I should have to hear people eat, unless it’s a crunchy apple or carrots or potato chips. You know, crunchy food. And there’s no way I’m spending time in the kitchen if the burners on top of the stove rattle and shake. Every time our furnace kicks in, the stove starts to vibrate.
You see, keeping sane is a full-time job for me. So when I find something like this possible fraud that I actually can do something about, I get excited. Optimistically so. It’s such a disappointment when it isn’t fraud.
But what might be worse is being the only one to think fraud. To actually be the only one to think that bad had overcome good.
I might have to give up my claim as one of the world’s greatest optimists. That wouldn’t be good.
So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or email@example.com