Wednesday, June 09, 2004


The mail has been piling up on the dining room table now since April. It was becoming a huge pile, a mountain in fact. All of these envelopes from institutions wanting to extend me credit. I get two or more a day. They should just send me a gun. I mean really - me and credit cards have been having a nightmarish relationship for years. It's like that guy that won't go away and, even though you know he's really bad for you, your longing for immediate gratification takes over and you open the door and let him back in.

I am down to two credit cards now. One is an American Express that gets paid at the end of every month and the other is a Master Card for emergencies. Problem is that emergencies pile up and so does debt and I'm standing in the hole still paying for the 2001 ultrasound performed on my sweet, darling cat. That I had to put to sleep last year.

Every one of those letters is like a note from the Devil. But I have learned my lesson. I will never respond to one of their tempting and deceptive offers. There is the issue though of disposing of these missives from hell. For a while I would open them and cut up the offers and then fill the postage paid return envelopes with some of the resulting confetti mixture and send them back. But that takes time and thankfully I do not yet have that kind of free time in my life.

I have a deep fear of just throwing them away unopened because our trash cans are on an alley that the general public can access. And they do. The bottle bums come through regularly, like at 4am on Sunday mornings. And while most of them seem to befuddled by alcoholism or mental illness or whatever it is that has placed them on the streets to actually steal my identity - you just never know.

So the pile has been growing. Until yesterday. I finally broke down and got a document shredder. I spent 3 hours tearing open envelopes and shredding everything. Filled up two large size trash bags with pieces of shredded credit offers.

Turns out I really enjoy the process of shredding. It's satisfactory - like chopping vegetables with my Santoku knife. It's a feeling of uber-efficiency. I wish I could think of some environmentally friendly way to recycle the shred, like stuffing pillows or compressing it into material that I could build furniture out of, but until I come up with that brilliant idea I am happy to find the positive side of junk mail - bring on the credit offers! I'm shredding!!

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