Certified Mail from the US postal service – any postal service for that matter – never bears good news. I mean, does Aunt Helen send your birthday card with that token five dollar bill via Certified Mail? No. Does Publisher’s Clearing House send that giant check via Certified Mail? Of course not, it would cost way too much in over-sized postage in addition to the cost of certifying it. No, it is safe to say that nothing good comes via Certified Mail. What comes Certified? Bad news. Bad news that someone on the other end wants so badly to insure you receive that they demand a signature – or as I found out – five (sign three, print twice). Certified Mail brings the news of legal action, news of the tragic dismemberment of your long lost uncle who left you no money or even worse, an IRS smackdown. Why am I so knowledgeable in the horrors of Certified Mail? Because I was just hit with a Certified Mail drive-by last week and I’m still shuddering. As I opened my mailbox after work and laid eyes on that little peach slip of paper notifying me of a Certified Letter awaiting me at my local branch of the US Postal Service, the die was cast. It was over.
As fate chose to play it, I didn’t get my little peach notice of doom until 5:30 in the evening, long after the closing whistle had blown at the US Postal Service. It seemed doom would have to wait until morning. The Turk has been working out of town recently so I’ve been playing single parent. I hate single parenting because there is no one there to hear me whine. Now I was not only a single parent, I was also a single parent staring down the barrel of impending disaster and the only person to field my class-A spaz-out was the Midget! I had 15 ½ hours to blow things out of proportion and I was just the gal to do it.
The worst part of the little peach slip I found in my mailbox was its utter lack of detail. The note didn’t state which of us the time bomb in the post office was intended for, rather it simply listed our last name in big, bold, accusatory letters. So as any logically neurotic wife would do, I immediately determined it was aimed to my husband and called the Turk to ask what he’d done to get us in the type of legal trouble that might spawn a Certified Letter. As expected, he was clueless. For years now when given the choice between defensive or clueless, he goes with clueless. He finds it to be safer. He’s usually right. I retraced everything he’d done over the past six years since we married and came up empty. Certain I could not possibly be to blame, I vowed to continue blowing things out of proportion until 9:00am the next morning.
I spent the entire night tossing and turning, trying to determine which distant relative was asking for a kidney (Not that I’d be willing to give one up, though I did have a few rough years in my late twenties and would be willing to made a trade for a sliver of liver if necessary) running possible ways we could pay off a multi-million dollar lawsuit judgment and attempting to determine how I would make a go as someone’s prison bitch when put away for tax evasion (I was never a hit with the lesbian crowd but I remained hopeful my post-baby hips might change that attitude).
After a leaving my sobbing child in the arms of his preschool teacher who thankfully had more patience than I that day, I made my way to the Post Office where I stood by the door awaiting their opening. At 9:00 on the dot I rushed the counter and slapped down my peach paper. The chubby Midwestern postmistress took one look at the slip of paper and gasped, “Oh my, that’s never good news now is it?” Really Becky Sue? Tell me something I don’t know. After 30 excruciating seconds of searching the stack, she returned with an envelope from the Counselor General of Turkey. “Oh my, that doesn’t look good now does it?” Seriously? Did I ask for your thoughts on this one Becks? No. After guiding me through a serious of signatures that would later be used in court to prove that I did in fact receive my death sentence, I was free to rip open the official stationary. Hoping to avoid a public meltdown, I trotted back to my car so fast that I’m certain sparks shot from my heels.
Counselor General of Turkey – Chicago. We’d never used the Chicago Conuslate – we always used New York. This meant someone was looking for us and reported our address. Someone in Turkey. Someone with connections. Oh God, they were deporting me! Oh wait, I’m in my home country. Oh God! They were deporting my child! He’s a dual citizen. The Turks had seen his quirky retorts and adorable face on Facebook and they wanted him back! Oh God! They were preparing for war with Syria and wanted the Turk back in his role of Army Commander!!!!! Sweat poured down my cheeks. We had a brush with this when we lived there. They said it could happen. Damn you for being a good shot Turk! Now it’s time to don the camo and beret again! As I unfolded the letter, preparing to become a single mother long-term, I braced myself.
OH GOD!!!! THE LETTER IS IN TURKISH!!!
Now, I’m basically fluent in SPOKEN Turkish but I can’t read to save my life. I have the reading skills of a slow 2nd grader in Turkish and this thing was filled with big, big words – like 7th grade words! I resorted back to what I’d done for years in Turkey, whenever in a pinch – I scanned the page for my name and any bad words then called the Turk.
Ultimately, it was nothing more than something dealing with my father-in-law’s estate and as the Turk is the man of the family now (even though he’s across the world he still has more power than the women –aahhhhh Muslim nations…) his signature was needed. That’s it. A signature. No deportation. No lost limbs. No call for organs. No prison sentence. No return to the Turkish Army. Just a damn signature. A signature that certainly could have been requested by simple, regular, First Class.
Paybacks are hell Counselor General….
Watch yourself. I still have connections.