Her package was supposed to have arrived by the 13th, and here it was already the 20th. Birdie had looked on-line to track it, and the official USPS site showed the package had been making its slow but steady progress toward Birdie’s mailbox just fine until it reached the handoff in the relay which was approximately 250 miles distant. It had been only a day away from delivery.

Then the cryptic notation: MIS-SENT. A single word. The USPS was being rather guarded concerning this turn of events. Apparently, they weren’t willing to take Birdie into their confidence. There was no information pointing to where it had been MIS-SENT. It could be anywhere. Phoenix? Zimbabwe? Delaware? Would Birdie’s package be delivered to a woman on the Minnesota prairie? Would a lonely farm wife, hungry for mail, rip into the package before realizing it had been MIS-SENT? Would the lonely farm wife puzzle over why she had received unsolicited Beauty Behold Facial Moisturizer and Wrinkle Erasing Serum from Youthanizer Pharmaceutical? Or would she simply see it as a cosmic gift? A gift to brighten her lonely, austere life. Would she rush inside to her dressing table, gaze into the mirror, smooth on the miraculous cream and see instantaeous results? A tightening of skin that had been lax, a vibrancy to skin that had been sallow, a youthful dewey glow that replaced the dry skin of a middle-aged woman who had spent too many hours in the sun and wind and intense temperatures of Minnesota?

Birdie could only hope the lonely Minnesota farm wife would notice the mistake before the mail carrier drove away. That she would say something like, “Why, Tolly, looks like this package has been MIS-SENT.”

And then the USPS would decide to right the wrong and put the package on a special jet to Birdie’s post office. That was Birdie’s bottle of youthful, dewey glow. Let the lonely Minnesota farm wife get her own.


This is my entry for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ using the 3rd definition of the word confidence.


19 responses »

  1. The Postal Service is maddeningly cryptic about its status updates, isn’t it? I like the romance in imagining where the packages might be going — I tend to just imagine a back room in a postal depot somewhere!

    • The last time I had a package go down the wrong road, when it finally got to me, it looked like it had been dragged behind the truck rather than lolling about in Minnesota. So your mental picture is probably closer to the truth.

  2. One can never count on the USPS. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Beauty Behold Facial Moisturizer and Wrinkle Erasing Serum from Youthanizer Pharmaceutical–a mouthful of a title, but so accurate for those potions women slather on chasing youth and beauty. Your piece made me laugh. Thanks:)

  3. I don’t know how I missed this Trifecta entry. I love the story and the wonderings about a package’s wanderings. At least it finally showed up. It’d be a shame for the MN farm wife to get the goods 🙂

  4. I’ve had so many packages mis-sent. always to the house behind me, which has the same #, but is a different street. we just exhchange over the back fence.
    but I would probably not give up free beauty products. that’s a gift that keeps on giving.

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