I’ve lived in my house for three years. Apparently, some guy named Zack has also lived in my house for the past year. Or at least Bill and Annie Smith (not their real names) in Overland Park, Kansas think he lives at my address. They send him a lot of cards – thank you notes, just for fun cards and yesterday, I received Zack’s birthday card.
Obviously for me to know what kind of cards they send, I open them. The first time I received one, I “Returned to Sender,” but not since then. They keep on coming and I keep on opening them. It’s like reality TV, but through the mail.
I’m not proud of my actions and suspect it’s illegal for me to keep opening Zack’s mail. But now I’m genuinely interested in how he’s doing. Zack got a new job last fall (Attaboy card), gave the Smiths Big 12 Tournament tickets (thank you note), and he had a birthday this week.
Until yesterday, there was nothing of value in the cards besides sweet sentiment. But in the birthday card there was a Plaza gift certificate for $50. Hmmmm. I like the Plaza. I like gift certificates. I could head to Anthropology and no one would be the wiser. Or I could put the opened card and GC in a larger envelope, send it back to the Smiths and let them know they have Zack’s address wrong. Except then I’d have to own up to receiving his mail for the last year.
Several people have encouraged me to spend it, with them of course. A bottle of wine and appetizers on me. But I don’t think I can. Not because I’m some sort of morally superior person. (Clearly not, since I’ve been opening his mail.) It’s because Annie has old lady handwriting. So I think of her going to the Plaza to get the card, sending it to Zack and never receiving an acknowledgment from him. That would be sad.
Or maybe it’s the whole karma thing. Sometimes I hate karma.