If you have been reading these columns for any length of time, you know this writer loves to shake things up, sometimes for pure shock value.

Sarcasm and stirring things up are this lady’s greatest flaws. Unfortunately, it is so much fun that your humble writer will never go to sarcasm rehab.

Now that we cleared the proverbial air let us address the title of this column. Relax. It does not refer to this lady or anyone else on an adult beverage bender, recent or otherwise. Without sounding like a bloody tree hugger, the lady of the manor sees RED every time she picks up her mail.

Living in the country can be relaxing but has countless challenges as well. For example, the mail delivered by our stalwart postal employees to our country homes is at risk. While you are at work, anyone can pull up to your mailbox and steal the mail. Consequently, Hubby and his security-sensitive spouse have a locked mailbox at the Post Office.

Since most of our bills arrive online, the times between visits to the Post Office can be at least a week and sometimes two weeks. Why? Sometimes, it is more pleasant to read a book or mow the lawn than to leave the house to fetch the mail consisting of 80% or more junk mail.

Unless we expect a specific delivery, wasting gas on junk mail pick up is ridiculous. If you doubt this, hang out at the little brick-veneer building and watch people pick up their mail.

If nothing else, the process is cheap entertainment. But, unfortunately, when it comes to attire, Wal Mart has nothing on not-dressed-for-prime-time customers.

Most people stop at the handy trash can and pitch the junk mail. However, unlike those trusting or thoughtless souls, this lady shreds everything that has our name and address. So rest easy in the knowledge that our shredder is well fed.

But what a waste of trees and paper. And possibly the overtaxed muscles of some mail carriers, even if they just drive up to a mailbox, roll down the window, to deliver the mail.

And, of course, any time someone runs for a political office, the mailbox becomes stuffed with the junky and unread glossy flyers. So, just to be contrary, this lady refuses to vote for anyone who clogs her mailbox and indirectly kills trees in the process.

Then there are the countless realtor mailings offering to sell our home. Or the Dish Satellite flyers as ubiquitous as those delivering The Watchtower pamphlets. We must not forget the credit card offers even from those companies we already use. The lack of communication between departments is wasteful and annoying.

How about the insurance offers? Did you notice, every insurance company offers to save you at least $500? They think they are clever, but their assumptions are more gullible than those they hope to entice.

If you ever donate to a charity or university, be prepared to receive hundreds of requests for MORE MONEY. Unfortunately, the demands continue even after we move on to a parallel universe.

After all that, three particularly annoying mailbox cloggers are AARP, hearing aid companies, and the most egregious, the Neptune Society.  The minute you near the age of 50, AARP tries to get their hooks into your wallet.

As for the hearing aid folks, just because someone reaches the supposed midpoint in life does not mean their hearing is defective. How bloody presumptuous of them. Most seasoned citizens practice selective hearing. They hear far more than the younger generation would prefer.

The Neptune Society encourages a more eco-friendly way to exit this world once we kick the bucket. So instead of fancy coffins made of wood, lined with lace and silk, they so kindly offer to fry your posterior and other body parts.

Mind you that is what Hubby and his wife chose. Not because of environmental beliefs, but rather that cemeteries waste space. They are another way for an industry to line its coffers on the backs of those who grieve.

We ought to revere Nature rather than destroy it for monetary gain.

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