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Or Current Resident

January 4, 2012

You ever get a piece of mail addressed to you or current resident?


I get them from the pizza joint, the muffler shop and other places of which I have no authentic connection. Having never shopped or telephoned these places I never feel one way or the other when their ambiguously addressed mail arrives.


If I’m interested I keep it, if I’m not I pitch it. Recently, me and or current resident, got a mailer from the local YMCA, encouraging us to join now while there’s $0 enrollment fee. In the spirit of all things New Year’s Resolutionee, my best refrigerator magnet is keeping that mailer right up on my fridge where, I can see it!  (BTW – it’s now day 4, how are you doing with all your resolutions? – Yeah, me too.)


But this time I got a piece of ambiguously addressed mail that made me notice my shenpa – to use a Tibetan Buddhist term for that tiny little feeling you get just before you get the big full blown feeling. Ok, no it didn’t, it just plain ole’ made me say out loud, “Oh, ain’t this a bitch?”


The mail was from my friends at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad California. Ok, they are not my personal friends, but I do have an authentic connection with them.


The connection started rather impersonally; online, by me clicking around their website, then signing up for their monthly E-Newsletter. Soon I expressed interest in some of their programs and quicker than I could say lotus flower one of their staff (Gabrielle) was contacting me by telephone to discuss the programs in detail. From time to time I’d get a friendly call from Gabrielle, letting me know about new programs or events at the Chopra Center. The calls were always pleasant with greetings of well wishes and goodbyes of namaste’.


They even sent me (just me, not me and “or current resident”) big beautiful colorful calendars at the end of each year at no cost. One year along with the calendar, they also included a lovely “silence please I’m meditating” sign I could hang from a doorknob. FREE. This is what I’d call an authentic connection.


How nice of them, I always thought. I had never been one of their big-ticket customers. I have yet to attend one of their $3000 or $4000 programs and my purchase history contains a couple of CD’s or audio books, a box of sandalwood incense and a T-Shirt. Yet, they made me feel like I was special to them – me, special, just because I am scared. Each year their gifts of kindness helped to heal my heart, from the injuries it had sustained making it to the end of 365 more days.


However, today the “Or Current Resident” thing has made me feel like the fine folks at the Chopra Center are now more interested in selling programs, to who ever answers the mailbox, than they are interested in summoning the scared and healing the heart – which are also the names of two of their popular pricey programs. 


Or Current Resident wasn’t home so I opened the mailer. It was a program catalogue offering discount rates on programs booked before 2011 ended. There was a note on the cover to: Look inside for your mind and body gift! I thought, damn that’s got to be one tiny ass calendar this year… but instead there was the offer to redeem a gift calendar and inspirational mantra CD (a $30 value, they let me know) by going online (funny, it’s where the impersonal connection became personal goes impersonal again) completing the delivery information, (Duh! Wouldn’t the delivery information be the same address where me and or current resident live?) and PAYING $5 for shipping and handling!


LOL! No, seriously, I am laughing out loud as I wonder how many of you gave holiday gifts, but first told the recipients how much the gift would have cost had they purchased it themselves then made them pay you for the shipping and handling before you sent it? LOL! And WTF is handling anyway? How can you ship something you don’t handle? Gimme a break. If you want me to buy something just tell me – don’t go around charging me for it (even if you’re only charging me $5) while calling it a fugging gift!


Deepak, I still dig you but here’s where if were actually friends you would be asking me, “Is something wrong? Did I do something?” Come to think of it, you might ask, “Is something wrong?” But I doubt you would ever ask, “Did I do something?”




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