The Shipping Lady
My existence has resulted in the necessity of a regular shipping service. I sometimes ship odd shaped items. There was a time when a lot of art was exported from middlespace. Sometimes I can pack items for shipment and sometimes I have them do it for me (they are professionals, trust professionals). In the 15 or so years they’ve shipped for me I only know of one cracked piece of frame glass. It was probably my fault.

Ninety percent of the time The Shipping Lady will be there. Always the absolute best, friendly. Every move is precise. Every judgment is accurate. I trust The Shipping Lady (yes, I do know her name). Packing. Shipping. Notary. These are the people in my neighborhood.

Today when I offered the recipient as, “[lastname] on [streetname],” The Shipping Lady said, “Oh, this one’s for Rich.” It was really familiar yet not pretentiously so. It was a noticeable thing but really subtle. She wasn’t fishing for anything, just doing her job. She just knew.

We always talk baseball, year round. Today we greeted each other with an exaggerated shrug because of a big free agency signing. She’s a Nationals fan. Endearingly so. She isn’t a 2019 bandwagoneer. The Shipping Lady has been all-in since 2005. She knows baseball and she knows I do too. She also knows that I am a homer for my team as well but she never remembers which team that is. All The Shipping Lady knows is Ty is from California. She’ll reference Angles (bleh), Giants (really?), Dodgers, Padres (haha), or A’s. It doesn’t matter and I don’t mind at all. She needn’t to know.

One of the many businesses that Amazon is killing is the neighborhood shipping service. USPS survives because they actually deliver a portion of Amazonia. I can't imagine trying to ship anything from the Post Office. Direct delivery cuts shipping services out of the loop, unfortunately. And they can’t survive on packing tape and greeting cards. I guess I hadn’t thought that through yet.

Anyway, The Shipping Lady is happy the Nationals paid to keep Straus but she is disappointed they couldn’t keep Anthony and he went to Anaheim. Now I have to keep track of the Angels.

Whichever happens first to end my relationship with The Shipping Lady will be sad. The store closes. The Shipping Lady retires or no longer works there. I no longer have odd shaped art to send. All of these options mean something quite permanent. As with any long run, the end comes quickly.

It’s very much like this at the grocery store too, but with basketball.