True Story: This really happened.

I was out walking my dog this morning and we were standing by a tree where she was checking her pee-mail. To the left, I noticed a young girl (a teenager) running across the street towards us being led by her puppy. As she approached, I was waiting for her to say, “Can my dog say hello?” Rather, I was taken by surprise when she asked, “Excuse me, is this the mailbox thingy?”, pointing to the image on the left, an electrical box.

mail box, mailbox, electrical box
I said, “ah, no, the mailbox is that thingy”, pointing to the image on the right.

She stood in front of the mailbox looking bewildered. First, she tried to pull on the center of the box where the mail carrier usually inserts their key to remove the mail. Then she continued to stare until I finally said, “A little higher”, where she finally found the handle tucked deep in the shadowy void and was able to place the letter in and then walk away.

Do kids still learn how to write in school?

Do they know what a letter is?

Is the only word that they understand with the word “mail” in it start with an “e-“?

I still enjoy receiving letters and postcards in the mail. I hope that the act of letter writing continues. As I have been doing research for a new historical fiction book that I’m writing, I have been reading the letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail. Writing was so different in the 1800’s.

Please help inspire a young child to write, and also, please bring them to their nearest mailbox and point it out to them. Let them pee on it too if it helps them to remember where it is.

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About Jason Landry

Jason Landry is a writer, photography collector, and owner of Panopticon Gallery in Boston, MA. I write about photography for the Huffington Post and I'm the author of, Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography. If you'd like to contact me: jason(at)jasonlandry.com