My wife and I were maligned the other day reflecting on the poor quality of our mail. Generally, like most, it's credit card offers (offers you thought you headed off by signing up for some "leave me the heck alone" service or other). Then there's also catalogs, but only ones we buy from--for me, that's 10 gardeny ones and Eddie Bauer. Rejection letters for my writing, too, 6 last week (working on a 99.5% rate since August). Bills. Bills. Bills. Death threats. Some I send.
Then we've got environmental organizations. Children's cancer research funds. And all of "those" things, worthy and good in their own right. So two years ago I gave some money to the National Parks Conservation Association, The Nature Conservancy, and the Rainforest Alliance. Fine, I felt like I could afford it, I believe in that stuff, I was happy I could help.
Apparently, they all hold strategy sessions in far off mystical places on how to market themselves via my contribution. "How can we spend this sucker's money? We need more members. In fact, we need more members with the same name and address. Send him some stuff."
Alas. I have too many stickers and return address labels, and now, this week, wrapping paper. Wrapping paper. With gift tags.
The National Wildlife Federation promises a backpack. I apparently "Love St. Jude." I have to save the Save-the Redwoods League. The Wildlife Land Trust sent me stickers my grandma would've liked, or any old lady. Barf. I have to save the polar bears, too--the lovey-dovey images of mom and cubs tell me so. Don't I just feel awful? The Center for Biological Diversity's slogan says I should donate "Because Life is Good." Is it? I was driving behind an idiot from planet stupid this morning going a full 10 under speed limit, clearly confused as to why he was driving a car, so he swung over two lanes to turn left without ever signaling. The wind is at 45mph and it's 30 something degrees. My neck hurts. People who shouldn't be sick or homeless are sick and homeless. Just lost a football-field-sized chunk of rainforest. And another. And another. And another.
And look what I just got in the mail!
If I give you 10, 20, or even 40 bucks, it means leave me the hell alone. Not to get you off my back, and most CERTAINLY not to get you to spend my money on sending me crap, but because I simply feel moved to.
Speaking of which--when I moved this summer I cleaned out my stamps and labels drawer. I had about 5 billion address labels I'd never use, and a gazillion stickers from every season, holiday, and moonrise from the last four years. I sometimes put two dozen stickers on a letter just to get rid of them. I'm thinking of doing this IF and WHEN I give money to such organizations as the above again. Maybe I could pay in stickers? Wrapping paper? That'd make life good.