The same UPS guy has been delivering in my neighborhood ever since I moved here around five years ago. He is a friendly man with eyes that sparkle when he smiles. Running into him when my daughter and I are out and about gives me the sense that I’m on the set of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and the Sesame Street song “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” starts bouncing in my head. When in his truck, he’ll toot his horn and wave. When on the street, he’ll shout hello. When I open my door to him, my daughter rushes out to hug his knees. (Once when a neighbor witnessed my kid’s familiarity with the UPS guy, I blushed and realized that I just might be doing a little too much Internet shopping.)
In spite of the fact that he’s seen me in my pajamas, a bathrobe, sweats and even once in an evening gown, our contact is all above the board. He has never met, nor seen my husband, yet he frequently asks me to send George his regards. I find that amusing, but I recognize this as confirmation that he is one who respects marital status.
The other day the UPS guy was entering my building laden with boxes. I held the door, we exchanged pleasantries, and I began to rush away to pick up my daughter from school. Then I heard it, “Mrs. P, may I ask you a question?” He smiled sweetly and looked directly into my eyes. “Are you LDS?”
Gulp, they found me. To any of you who aren’t LDS, that is code for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormon to be more familiar.
“Yes, well, I once was.” I responded. At the moment I didn’t feel the need to fill him in on my complex feelings and history towards “the Church”. He informed me that he saw my name on the list. “Hmmm, that’s nice.” I responded, said goodbye, and rushed away. That list can be an intimidating thing. To be on the list, you have been baptized. To be removed from the list, you have been excommunicated. To request to simply be removed by choice, well, that bears deep concern.
Now, the UPS guy is no longer just some guy dressed head to foot in brown with a big truck and the bearer of fun packages. I am a member of his Ward. He is an Elder of the Church. I imagine him sitting with members of the bishopric contemplating those mysterious “inactives”. Or perhaps he is the Bishop. I dared not ask.
Oh – the things he has delivered to my home (wink, wink).