returned for postage.

So, I'm a doofus.

My nephew Lincoln's birthday was last week. At the beginning of the month, I picked a card out for him out of my stash, wrote him a note that probably didn't make any sense, then made up for it by sticking a little cash inside. I did the same for my niece Callie, whose birthday is today (Happy Birthday, Callie! Your card will be late!). I sealed up the cards, addressed them neatly, then put them in a little metal container I keep on the table in the foyer for just such a purpose. A couple of days before Lincoln's birthday, I pulled out his card and dropped it in the mail.

Did you notice which step I left out?

The really doofussy thing is, I've done this a couple of times lately. About a month ago, I found out that Josh's grandmother's birthday was coming up. Like, the next day. Not to fear, I have a card just for such occasion. Okay, not for the occasion that I'm marrying into a new family and do not yet know everyone's birthdays, but the occasion that a birthday card is late. That one, I've got. Plus, I've got plenty of Easter cards that I can just cross out "Easter" and write "Belated Birthday" over.

I sent her the card, feeling very smug about myself. I totally rock at being a granddaughter-in-law! But ARGH!, a few days later, the card came back, RETURNED FOR POSTAGE. My mail carrier must think I'm an idiot. It's probably best to not think about what our mailpersons think of us.

So now the card was over a week late. I did have a handy excuse for the extreme delay, even if my excuse was my own lack of understanding about how the postal service works. I simply found a bigger envelope, put the card in, stamped envelope and all, and sent off the whole thing. I wrote a little message on the back of the envelope to the effect of "Sorry this is so late, you'll soon see why." Honestly, it's kind of brilliant. For all she knows, I could have sent the card on time in the first place.

A couple of weeks later, I got a card from my future grandmother-in-law in the mail. I opened up the envelope...and found another envelope. This one had been addressed to me as well, but it was stamped RETURNED FOR POSTAGE. Inside that envelope was a card that thanked me for the birthday card, and also remarked at how wonderful it was that I was not afraid to be myself.

If you were me, would you be afraid to be myself?

So, she intentionally sent a card without a stamp, so that it would be sent back to her and she could then put it in another envelope and send that to me. What kind of crazy family am I marrying into?

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