Single in the Suburbs
The Mailman Knows I'm Single
by Lauralyn Avallone
I have the friendliest mailman. He's super patient with the old folks who swarm around him like bees at a honey-soaked picnic, he always sports a smile, just like their motto says, through rain, snow, ozone alert heat. I don't know anything about my mailman, except that he's a sure shot when it comes to matching apartment numbers perfectly to their letters. And that he puts on his hazards outside the building while he delivers because here in Long Beach, parking is reserved for the lucky few.
While I know little about him, not even his name, he knows my name and if he bothers to glance at the papers stuffed in my little box, then he knows a lot more than my neighbors, and even some of my friends. Like, I subscribe to Jane, Yoga Journal and The National Enquirer (yeah, I know, but it's entertaining junk mail.) He'll also know from the occasional Playboy catalog I get that I may have ordered something from Hugh and his silicon bunnies before, and that I'm a member of the Sierra Club and from the stack of bills, that I have a phone, Poland Spring water delivered, and doctors bills.
Now he also knows I'm single.
How? Because somehow, Long Island matchmakers have found out that the person living at my address is unmarried (gasp!) and have decided to send me matchmaker forms. I'm sure with the hope that I will tell them who I am looking for and for a fee they will search all the Island for the man of my dreams and deliver him to me, just as if I were ordering, say a Playboy bunny T-shirt through a catalog. How simple! Love made easy!
The forms are similar to those you might fill out ordering just about anything, but the questions are geared more toward lifestyle than waist size. The "Singles Profile Form" asks you what you are seeking in a mate: i.e. age, smoking status, where they live, education, occupation, appearance, athletic interest, religion, and cultural interests. The second part asks you to answer the same questions, adding what your primary social goal is (to date successfully, have a steady relationship, marriage|where is the eternally play the field option?). Also, you have to check what your annual income is (but they don't ask for W-2's|yet), if you're planning to move and what your typical work week is.
I've always been tempted to fill out one of these forms just to see how they would react to an out of the ordinary case:
My age: 82
My social situation is as follows: I have not been dating in 50 years.
I feel I am: Other: cranky, difficult to get along with, use my cane to keep people in line.
My faith: What faith? I've been single for 82 years. Hello.
I'm looking for: A man who has an Rx to Viagra.
My primary social goal: To date more successfully and try not to forget my dentures.
My annual income is: Under $15, 000.
Are you planning to move in the next six months (if yes, where?) Yes, to The Sandy Shore Rest Home.
My single status: Never married. Rub it in, why don't ya?
I enjoy: The Home Shopping Network, senior discounts, a good Brandy and short walks on the boardwalk.
I have a feeling that if I sent that in, they might just remove me from their mailing list and change their slogan to "Leave Romance Up to Chance." And perhaps that is just how it should be. I'm sure once my form traveled through the mail circuit, I would eventually be receiving subscription forms to Mature Magazine or Healthy Seniors or God knows what else is out there that somehow finds its way to your whereabouts.
Could it be my trustworthy mailman who is leaking information through some postal underground railroad? "This one's single AND gets Playboy catalogs!"
Nah, that's unfounded paranoia. He's just doing his job, as are the well-meaning matchmakers, who by the way, apologize for contacting you if you are married and ask to pass it along to a single friend. Which I would never do, because just as the mailman doesn't pry into my business, even though he has the opportunity, I would never have the gall to impose a dating service on one of my friends, unless they ASKED for the opportunity.
So, to all the marketing eyes who are reading this right now: don't even think about e-mailing or snail mailing me anything, unless I ask for it. Or, it's a lottery check or free cruise to the Caribbean. Because, that would indeed be a perfect match for a single girl, waiting.