File under: Not Cool

A couple of days ago, Erica and I arrived home to find some returned mail. Returned mail that (cue scary music) WE HAD NOT SENT! Sitting in our mailbox were three envelopes, addressed to [EasternEuropeanCountry]ian names, all at the same Chicago address, with our name and address as the return address. (Well, close to our name and address – Erica’s name was misspelled with a K and I was “FULLY GERDES” on one of the letters.) We figured that since we had supposedly sent these envelopes there couldn’t be anything wrong with opening them up, so we did. They contained, respectively, a blank piece of paper, a folded up ad, and half of a photocopied flyer in [EEC]ian. Not as creepy as finding death threats being sent in our name or something, but still very odd.

The handwriting on the envelopes was similar to that on our upstairs neighbors’ mailbox, and they’re [EEC]ian, so we thought we’d ask them WTF was up with these envelopes. We eventually got one of the guys upstairs on the phone and he was immediately apologetic. His friends had, he said, needed proof of address at their new apartment, for the [EEC]ian or DMV or something (his accent plus cell phone static served to obscure that detail). And they didn’t want to have the envelopes coming from [EEC]ian names, and ours were the only American names they knew. The envelopes had been returned because his friends hadn’t put their names on their mailbox yet.

A) Next time, just ask — I’m very friendly and willing to do all sorts of odd things. Dude, haven’t you noticed me sweeping the common area out back? I’m a very community-oriented guy. B) The only American names you know? Y’all need to meet some people. Make some friends. Seriously. C) Get your act together, people. Get your name on the mailbox before you ask your friends to commit mail fraud for you.

Even after we got this explanation, Erica was still pretty mad. “What mail have they sent in our names that didn’t come back?” she wondered. And what lists are our names on now as friends of [EEC]ians and what happens when our government decides to invade [EEC] and we’re branded as enemy sympathizers and it’s totally bogus because [EEC] should never have been invaded, but we’re f’ed anyway? Sigh, I hate living in such paranoid times.

We had already been discussing whether we were going to renew our lease and this incident, added into the “they always play their music really loud and have lots of crazy parties” column, plus the other nagging issues with the apartment, really tipped the scales into the “move out” direction. But we talked to the landlord and the upstairs neighbors are all moving out in September. Ooooh… they have two bathrooms up there, maybe we’ll move upstairs.

Now if we could just get our names off that (imaginary) list…

1 Comment so far

  1. tricia (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2006 @ 1:27 am

    Congrats on the neighbors moving out!!

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