When I moved to NY, my mom got me a PO box in the town that I thought I was going to live in. I had asked her to just check it out. She wanted to be helpful and I wanted her to feel helpful, so it was a good task. When she went to the post office and found out the price, she just went ahead and got me the box. This was fine but ultimately, I did not end up living in that town. I ended up opening a second PO box in the town that I actually live in. With two mailing addresses, it is the closest I have come to engaging in something that portends illicit activity.
Opening a new PO box is like getting someone else’s phone number. You end up with a lot of mail that does not belong to you. When it is junk, I tend to toss it but sometimes it is more than junk. Late last year I accidentally received and opened a notice to someone else that their mammogram results potentially showed something and they had to return for a follow up. Initially I thought that this was for me but then realized that it actually could not be mine. I took it immediately back to the post office. And counted my blessings that it was not mine.
Earlier this week, my phone rang and it was someone who was not really a friend of mine. She was a friend of someone else I am close to. Calls like this. Sometimes you answer. Sometimes you don’t. I wondered why she would be calling me. But then when I answered, she sounded upset. And sort of confused. She had been trying to call someone who was not me but was also named Kim. She told me that she was not having a great day. And then she told me that she had just gotten back her mammogram results and they may have found something. And she had to go back. I tried to be supportive. It was definitely an awkward conversation. Having an accidental intimate conversation was not something either of us were expecting. But it happened. She told me that she was scheduling the follow up and would be going back the next day. She told me that she was going to have to call me when she found out.
The irony of all of this is that I recently went for my mammogram. From the same place that I had received the errant result. And I was waiting for my results. I finally went to pick up my mail today. And there was something from that radiology facility. I can’t lie. I was afraid to open it. It felt like déjà vu. It felt like it was something that was going to happen because it had already happened. The day I had opened the result that was not mine, I had done it at the restaurant up the street where I was going to get an iced coffee. I was planning on doing the same thing today. I knew that I could not do that. So instead I opened it while I was waiting on the line to pick up a package before leaving the post office. And thankfully, my test was fine. The letter started out with the fact that they were “pleased to inform” me about my results. I am ridiculously thankful. And I hope that ultimately the women who received a not so great initial notice will receive a pleased to inform them of their results result.