Yesterday was awesome: I awoke early, I was able to get right to work and I managed to cross several items off my to-do list. I cannot remember the last time I had a day like that, and I expected to keep it up today.

It didn’t happen.

As is often the case, I got sidetracked. During the Wednesday MOMocrats podcast, my friend Karoli said something that begged to be quoted on a graphic. So I spent the next several hours tumbling down the rabbit hole that is Photoshop — and then ended up trying out different graphic services. You can see the final version here (although obviously, you’re going to like it a whole lot better if you are a Democrat).

By 1:30, the day was nearly all shot and I still had not written the political rant I’ve been aching to get to since yesterday morning, when Jeb Bush’s NPR interview got me all riled up. I also had not taken my daily walk — a habit I am trying really hard to re-cultivate. I decided to see if taking one right then would help me to regain my focus.

It almost worked. Unfortunately, the mail was delivered when I was out of the house and I made the mistake of looking at it.

It’s early in the month, so I was not surprised to find a mailbox full of advertising mailers and flyers. But buried within the pile was an invoice from the lab that took the X-rays of my broken thumb and toe last year. I was pretty sure I had paid them in full, so I was pretty annoyed. The invoice was stamped with the phrase FINAL NOTICE in big red letters. Perplexing, since I have not received any billing from them in months. You know, since I PAID them.

They say I still owe them $2.97. And since I don’t want a big bad mark on my credit history over a teeny tiny charge like that, I tried to call them to tell them (a) I did not receive any previous invoices for this, otherwise I would have paid them and (b) I would send a check tomorrow.

Of course, I got voice mail.

If this thing goes to collection, I will be royally pissed off.

junk mailThere was one other piece of mail that came in a decorated envelope, addressed to me in a something that looks like handwriting. No return address. I opened that and found what appeared to be a newspaper clipping and a handwritten post-it note: “Donna, I read this and thought of you.” It was signed “J.”

The newspaper clipping was actually a full-page advertisement for a seminar on financing college. I get a lot of mailers for activities like this, and I have been tossing them directly into the trash. I think they’re all scams, giving you information you can easily find on your own while siphoning away your hard-earned money (money that you’re trying to save to send your kids to college). And after trying to figure out who “J” is (my friend Julie, who lives in Texas? No – the envelope is postmarked Los Angeles. My friend Jennifer? Doubtful), I concluded that the entire mailing was a scam, designed to trick me into thinking it was an actual letter from a friend.

My dad worked in direct mail advertising — what you and I refer to as “junk mail.” And he always said that the most important thing was figuring out how to get the recipient to actually open the package. And it slowly dawned on me that is what the people behind this “seminar” actually did.

So now that I’m thoroughly annoyed, I suppose I’m in the right frame of mind to write that rant at MOMocrats.

Jeb Bush better watch it.



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