Big props to anyone who has ever sent a a care package to my husband while he was deployed. Thank you.
I experienced a bit of "shell shock" last week when I went to the post office to ship hubby a couple of boxes. I was used to sending care packages from Germany--through the MPS (Military Postal System). Basically from one APO address to another APO address = free shipping. All I needed to do ahead of time was fill out the customs form. And I kept a stack of those in the house. My spoiled husband received at least one box a week from his loving wife and kids during his last deployment.
So when it came time to mail him his first set of care packages of this deployment, I dutifully bought the big roll of brown paper and packaging tape and commenced to wrap the perfect boxes. I proudly loaded them into the van and headed over to the local post office. A few things that would have been nice to know ahead of time would be:
(A) The green customs forms are obsolete for shipping downrange from stateside. So I had to redo both of them.
(B) Brown paper packages are apparently very 2006. The Post Office has "Flat Rate" APO/AFO boxes that would have saved me a little money on shipping...which brings me to (C)
(C) Shipping those boxes cost me a small fortune--more than the value of the items inside.
As I walked away from the counter with my wallet a little lighter than I had anticipated, I came to the conclusion that less is more. Once a week is definitely overkill.
Well, earlier this week J asked me to send him more of his favorite foot cream. My first thought was "has it been a week already?" But I sucked it up, bought the cream, and headed back to the post office ~ definitely a little wiser and more prepared this time.
Counter Guy: You'll be sending this 'Priority'?
Me (not about to get duped again): Oh no. Just send it the cheapest way.
Counter Guy (with furrowed brow): You sure about that?
By this time, his co-worker had wandered over.
Counter Guy to Co-Worker: Hey man--she wants to send this the cheapest way. Does she WANT the man's feet to fall off before he gets his cream?
Co-Worker: Ha! Send it that way and the war will be over before he even gets it. He'll be on his way home--with no feet! And not even combat-related...shaking his head
By this time, I was doubled over laughing.
Counter Guy: Your man's fighting a war in the desert and you want to send him some relief by BOAT...
Me: OK! OK! Put it on a plane! Just put it on a plane!
That seemed to appease the Postal Gods. They accepted my sacrifice and it should arrive in 5-7 working days. J's feet rejoice!