Junk Mail

I'm always curious to figure out exactly how some pieces of mail make their way into my mailbox, rather than my neighbors, or yours or my cousin's ex husband.

You know what I mean, right? You didn't request information, yet things come addressed specifically to you that just begs the questions of why, how and WTH? Lately, I appear to have found a couple of sources of my mail and I'm waiting to see if some websites I signed up for will add me to the so called 'sucker' lists.

First up, a generous graduation gift of People en Español (shouldn't that be Gente?) from Donna. She knows that I want to keep those language skills and thought this was a good way to get topical information and vocabulary and perhaps learn about personas muy popular en las paises latinas. Well, I found out that People sells their subscription lists, because I'm getting mail 'en español,' asking me to subscribe to Mujer, donate to charities and buy photographs. The bright spot is that it's providing me with more opportunities to explore la lengua, with a bonus laugh or two.

In the two plus years of my college experience, I have received not one piece of junk mail from other schools, tutoring services or any other college related service. Quite a few emails came my way from the Princeton Review, but they never sent a piece of snail mail. They were so annoying with the quantity of emails that I purchased a Kaplan GRE study guide!

However, last month, I signed up to take the aforementioned GRE exam in September and yesterday, the first piece of mail showed up that I know is ultimately going to be joined by many others, because I experienced it before. The College Boards provide information to institutions of higher learning about PSAT, SAT, ACT, GRE and all the other exams it provides.

The funny part of it is that the GRE was not a requirement for my Master's program-I'm taking it for admission to a doctoral program (I can't apply to several until I have the scores back), but these schools are only provided with the information that I've registered to take the test.

The school has no idea that as a 45 year old agnostic mother of two, halfway through a Master's degree, that their school is the furthest thing from a good fit. When the pictures of the residence directors for one of their campuses put me at about 10 years older and their initial contact tells me that they'll help students 'fulfill God's potential for your life,' well, I can't help but feel bad for them. It has to be rough to be a really small school that only has four master's programs to get students into their revenue generators.

I'll pass.

This time, though, I think I'll keep a stack of the literature that shows up, because it's fun to think back to all the college brochures I got after I took my PSATs that also wouldn't have been appropriate.

And the tactic I use when I sign up for stuff? I purposely misspell my name, or my street address,add a middle initial or the wrong salutation. It'll be really funny to see which site is responsible for which pile of shredder fodder-and whether adding Dr. to my name generates more mail than the other sites.

At least the post office is generating some revenue from the delivery of all these lovely pieces of amusement!


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