Mail call is a pretty organized thing around our house these days. And I have not earned the name Decontaminatrix for nothing. Always on the lookout for cross-contamination, how to deal with the mail was initially tricky. But I devised a plan. Playing on the good cop/bad cop routine, one of us is the Dirty Person. That’s the person who picks up the mail that has been dropped through the slot. Dirty Person, usually hubby, takes the mail to a corner of our dining room table where all the dirty mail is placed. Dirty Person picks up a pair of scissors, which are now designated as dirty. Dirty Person (let’s just call him DP from now on) picks up one piece of mail. Clean person, usually me, is standing by barking orders. I will simply be CP from now on. DP cuts the very tippy end of the envelope off, careful not to cut what’s inside. That’s why CP barks, to make sure nothing gets sliced in half. Then DP presses the envelop together so it opens up. CP, careful not to touch the outside of the envelope, pulls out the contents with her fingernails and sets the contents down on the other side of the table. The process is repeated until all the mail is opened. Dirty Person throws the envelopes away and washes his hands. Clean person disinfects the table, scissors, doorknob, light switch, and the cat, for good measure. Both DP and CP sit down and leisurely read the mail.
But, of course, it usually doesn’t go as smoothly as that. Often parts of the contents are glued to the inside of the envelope or stuffed inside in such a manner as to not be joggled free. That’s when the yelling begins. DP starts ripping at the envelope. CP starts smacking at his hands to keep him from touching the contents with dirty hands. Bills, letters, cards, and so forth usually go flying everywhere to be retrieved by nobody. This is because now there are two DPs and no CP. There is a clean cat, but she is pretty good for nothing when it comes to sorting and reading the mail. So out the contents go on the patio to be either sprayed with Lysol, if they can take it, or to sit in the sun for a good 24-hours.
Then we both wash our hands and have a drink.