Junk Mail Bonding

My mail is ridiculously off the mark. I’m getting junk mail that has no business being in my house or anywhere near me. Either that, or I have an Eve Black inside me who comes out occasionally to fill out surveys in between clubbing and picking up men.

I’ve talked before about how much I love mail.  I don’t even mind junk mail if it’s something I can use. But there’s nothing more disappointing than getting all excited about checking the mailbox and then finding that it’s all for someone else, someone you wouldn’t even be friends with if you knew them.

I blame the direct mail marketing companies. They’re supposed to be watching me, determining what I’m like, what makes me tick, and then direct all appropriate junk mail my way. But I’m getting the most bizarre stuff. There seems to be nobody at the switch. While everything else on earth becomes more high tech by the nanosecond, mail is regressing and will soon be in diapers and limited to the hard D and short vowel sounds.

Maybe direct mail marketers never recovered from the PR nightmare over the prisoners who were processing data with a little too much enthusiasm. Some Indiana housewife gets a call from a serial rapist making name-brand specific lewd suggestions and the whole industry suffers. (Although how he was going to manage doing that with a bottle of Joy, I’m still at a loss. I guess you learn to be creative with what you’ve got available in the joint.)

On the other hand, my email junk mail is perfectly tailored for me (except for the ones from the Nigerian prince who says he knows I want to help him and be a millionairesse in the process. It’s not about the money for me and if he knew anything about me at all, he would know that).

And the ads on my Facebook page are spooky, they’re so fitting. I know Facebook is reading - and selling - my private messages (A friend sent me a message in my inbox about a month ago and used a phrase and that same phrase was in an ad on my page yesterday and I got chills, I tell you, chills. Still, I honestly have no problem with that, so I won’t be signing your petition to Keep My Inbox Private). I’m pretty sure Facebook advertising is taking screen shots of my computer, too, and reading my innermost thoughts. When I’m working on a volunteer project, my page ad will be for a “Non Profit Success Kit.”  When I’m weary from a sleepless night, I get “Menopause Relief!” I almost always see “Free Food in Florida” and “Beer Universe,” and there’s an ad titled “Class of 1977” that I swear has the picture of me and David Schultz going to the prom. Same dress, same hair, same burgundy tux, same chintz drapes behind us - how do they know so much about me, down to my old boyfriends? One ad says, “Fleet Foxes Fan?” I want to respond: “Don’t be stupid. You know the answer to that question.”

So in comparison, my regular mail is like something from Clan of the Cave Bear: Let’s etch some symbols into this rock with a piece of charred wood and throw it like a girl and hope it gets to the right person.

Currently, my mailbox is regularly full of the following junk mail:

* Republican stuff, conservative political groups, the NRC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, John McCain and whatever ragtag, rah-rah-America group he’s put together, Newt Gingrich, the Heritage Foundation . . . the list goes on. I have tried to get off the Bible-thumping anti-government one-step-away-from-Ruby-Ridge mailing list, but they are impervious to my powers.  I even called them once and tried to use charm. Asked very nicely and politely to be taken off The List. “I campaigned for Barack Obama,” I told the man on the phone. “I am your nemesis.” He promised he would take me off, but it’s gotten too large for either of us now. All my Republican junk mail comes with a survey, so I dutifully fill out the questionnaires, hoping that maybe my answers (and the lack of an accompanying check) will get them to ditch me: “Do you agree with Barack Obama’s plan to drive up the deficit to $67 plumpchillion dollars, turn America into a Chinese colony, make the Pledge of Allegiance illegal, and open up our borders to terrorists, Mexicans and in-your-face married gays?” And I answer YES! To no avail. I’m afraid to open my mailbox for fear that some morning a live bald eagle will be in there.

* Singles social groups, dating services, and Miami nightclubs. Come on, people, look at me! Do I look like I’m going to make the drive down I-95 to Miami in traffic on a Friday night and suffer those flashing strobe lights, the smell of Juicy Couture cologne and hairspray, and too-close contact with people less than half my age? At my age, if there is a cover charge, a hand stamp, and a line at the bar, I’m probably not there. I wouldn’t last one weekend as a single woman. By the time single people are slipping on their high heels to go out, I’m on the couch complaining that 30 Rock comes on too late.

* Plastic surgeons, gyms, personal trainers, Botox and other beauty crap that I don’t do. I don’t know what other proof you need, other than: If I was going to submit to any kind of procedure or pay you to watch me lift weights, don’t you think I would at least be wearing mascara right now?

Someday soon I’ll tell you about the junk mail experiment I did, in which I saved up all the junk mail I received for a whole year. The conclusions are interesting, not the least of which the fact that my husband did not divorce me, even though I was piling up flammables in a closet.

And the majority of it was addressed to “Eve Black” - that unnaturally beautiful, conservative swinger.

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