Neither Mrs Proclaims nor I are particularly good at remembering to send Christmas cards. In the past we have bought cards to send, made a list of who we’re going to send them to and even purchased the postage stamps but somehow they don’t actually make it as far as the post box. This year we didn’t need to buy any new cards because we now have such a huge stockpile from previous years. Nonetheless we made a list of deserving recipients and almost got around to actually writing some.
But not quite.
However, from the beginning of December onwards our doormat has been besieged by cards from all the friends and family we have that are, quite frankly, better people than us. It’s been going on for years, this unreciprocated Christmas card sending, so people must now know that they’re getting nothing back from us, yet, like the kind-hearted people we know them all to be, they continue to send their seasons greetings. It makes us feel a little guilty and we’ve already made our annual pledge that we’re going to do better next year.
But if we’re honest, we probably won’t.
Still there is an annual Christmas card that lands on our doormat that always makes me feel a little less remorseful. Because the fact we receive cards at all must mean that we communicate with the world at large sufficiently often for our address to be known by the people who deems us worthy of a Christmas greeting.
This is not the case for the recipient of this particular card, because although it comes to our address it is not meant for either my beloved or I. Indeed it is not meant for the people we bought the house off either, because we know their names and neither of them are the named addressee of the card. It is meant for someone who may once have called my little terraced house their home in a bygone era but that has definitely not been for the three Christmases that we have lived here and more than likely not Christmas 2012 either.
Yet for the last three Decembers, a card has been posted through my letterbox addressed to them. I can’t be certain that it’s the same person who always sends the cards because obviously I never open mail that isn’t addressed to me, but I have to imagine that it is. It seems the most likely scenario.
Nonetheless, as scenarios go, it is is still completely preposterous. Someone cares enough about the intended recipient (who we’ll call Annie Nemous) , to regularly send them a Christmas card, but they don’t actually know where Annie currently lives.
What does that say about the relationship? It’s a little unbalanced is it not? Clearly Annie doesn’t care much about the sender (who we’ll call Miss Terry), yet Miss Terry persists in trying to maintain the bond. It’s all a little sad.
Unless Miss Terry is just one of those people who blanket sends Christmas cards to as many people as possible in order to get as many back as she can. Miss Terry always looks really popular to visitors to her house because she receives literally hundreds of Christmas cards. Little do people know that she actually sends out several thousand in order to ensure that enough people reciprocate through guilt. I don’t feel so sorry for Miss Terry if that is the case.
Although it is just possible the Annie does always send her dear friend Miss Terry a card every year and every year wonders why her cherished acquaintance doesn’t respond, unaware that Miss Terry is working on outdated information.
I’ll never know the answer. Indeed the only thing I can be sure of is Annie Nemous’ real name. Because that is always on the envelope.
The true identity of Miss Terry, on the other hand, will always remain a mystery.