I have always loved getting packages in the mail. As a young and
impressionable child, I remember opening our mailbox one sunny
afternoon to find a thick envelope addressed to me. I hesitated
unsealing it. Was this some kind of mistake? Who had gone to such
extravagance? What noble benefactor had dispatched this obvious
treasure to a child of such humble means?
Inside, there were five colorful
gumballs sealed together in a clear plastic sleeve. There was also
a letter from the NutraSweet Company detailing their fantastic new
artificial sweetener. NutraSweet wanted me to enjoy these free
gumballs. On them.
Because they loved me.
From that day on, I wrote letters to
every company I could get my hands on who offered free samples. Our
mailbox was quickly overrun with introductory-sized deodorants,
shaving products, and make-up. I remember how my older brother,
noting the return logo on one particular package, cried out:
"MARIANNE! Why did you send in for
free KITTY LITTER? We don't own a cat!"
Who cared? I was the only
10-year-old hoarder of free samples in all of Tinley Park. Besides,
hoarders always have cats.
When I became a mom of three
back-to-back-to-back babies, the power of the post took on a whole
new meaning. I could not physically manage my bulky infant carrier
and two toddlers while shopping for a new bra. Much-needed
necessities arrived courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service and Fed Ex.
Even though I recognized the return addresses and could guess what
was hidden inside, the ten-year-old within was still smitten.
Nowadays, it is much easier to go to
actual stores and pick up needed items. The packages have greatly
dwindled. Yet when I arrived home from carpool pick-ups last week,
an odd-shaped box greeted us at the front door. It was wide and
very thin. I wracked my brain and couldn't recall a single purchase
warranting these unusual dimensions.
I was giddy.
As the kids bickered over who would
ultimately claim possession of the empty box, I used my minivan
keys to pry it open. Surely this was some sort of rare artwork left
to me by a lost aunt? Or could it be a prize from one of the
bazillion online contests I am always entering? Or maybe it was
diamonds. Because if you're going to dream, you might as well dream
It wasn't diamonds. Or art. Or even
free samples of Secret. Instead, it was this:
The LDR 5123410 Power Deluxe High Force Cup Ribbed Toliet
And I had ordered two.
With its "positive bowl seal for high capacity force against
clogs," I knew diamonds could never hold a candle to my awesome new
plungers. Once you have battled an overflowing toilet
(courtesy of a child using way too much toilet paper while
suffering through the flu), you will understand. I would have given
my kingdom for the LDR 5123410.
For the record, I was not compensated in any way, shape or form
for this post. But if those people at LDR want to send me a
couple of new toilet seats, that would be fine by me.
I'll be watching for them in the post.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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