The Way It Was … Still Is

by Brad on December 9, 2012

Amidst the fast pace, the bureaucracy, the superficiality of it all, I find comfort when “they way it was … still is.” Not that this should be out of the ordinary, but it seems we’ve redefined “ordinary” in our world to include the stress, overwhelm and distraction we all experience as everyday life.

This one was different. Small, but different. Yesterday I received in the mail the obligatory Town Census, showing all my “data” as it’s been for the four years I’ve lived in this relatively small Cape Cod town. The form carried the usual warnings about penalties for failure to comply. While I’m no stranger to rocking the boat, I do choose my boats. So I filled out the form (which consisted of a signature, simply because nothing had changed – again). But when I went in search of a stamp to mail it back to the Town Clerk, I realized I’d used my last stamp the day before. Rather than head to the Post Office, a thought came to my mind. “Hey, Deb (the Town Clerk) is always at Starbucks on Sunday mornings; how about if I ‘try’ to see if she’ll just take it, kind of like having office hours on Sunday mornings.”

So this morning, I took the form with me for my daily ritual of coffee and reading at the local Starbucks. Deb showed up, as if on schedule. (More to the point, perhaps, is my own schedule here.) She smiled at my request and said, “Sure; of course; and why not?”

I’m not so sure why I found this so refreshing, but two things come to mind. First, I’m old enough to remember when this was “they way it was.” Business was handled in person, with handshakes. Second, my more recent experience has included town clerks and other “officials” who would have (and did) stand there and say, “No way; put it in the mail; the law requires that it be mailed.” I always doubt such claims of law, but again, I choose my boats.

So, for this simple event, for this simple gesture, on this “ordinary” Sunday morning, I’m grateful that “they way it was … still is.” Just sayin.’  Thanks, Deb.

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