Monday, July 19, 2010

What's the best thing in your mailbox today?

Remember the days when the mail box was full of promise? When opening it didn’t necessarily mean disappearing under a deluge of window-face envelopes and Woolies catalogues? There was always the possibility that it might contain a love letter (written in scented green ink if you were one of my former flatmates). Or an aerogram (remember those?) from an old friend, travelling in exotic climes. Or a birthday card from your grandmother, complete with the $5 note she’d been sending you since birth.

These days our mailbox, its bright blue paint fading and peeling, is a forlorn place. We have the most dedicated junk mail delivery people in the entire Western world, so we’re pretty good for brochures, catalogues and pizza discount vouchers. We also do okay on the bill front, with these arriving daily to ensure we never feel lonely.

Quality mail-wise, however, we’re a bit light on. The best letter I’ve received all year was a one-page epistle from Mr6, posted when first grade endured its annual excursion to the post office. It says, in part, “Please write back.” (Note to self: please write back.)

There is one piece of mail, however, that brings a smile to my face. It arrives monthly in an innocuous white envelope. It is hope in the mail.

The Boystown Lifestyle Lotteries ticket offer is an invitation to dream. Each month I spread that huge brochure out on the bench and move myself into the house on offer. I confess that if it’s a Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast property that they’re raffling off, I look no further. They look beautiful, there’s no doubt. Their positioning within walking distance to the ocean is attractive. Even the furniture looks okay when there’s a pool by the back door. But I can’t bring myself to buy a ticket because what would I do if I won? I don’t want to live in Queensland.

The trouble with the Boystown Lottery is that it’s gambling with purpose. I don’t buy scratchies, I don’t play the pokies, I go to the horse races once in a blue moon and place $2 each way bets all day. I am very much a ‘know when to hold and know when to fold’ kind of girl – but that’s all I’m doing.

But I’ll spend $15 on a raffle ticket. I buy my tickets (for Sydney or Melbourne houses only) knowing that my money is going to a good cause. Or that’s what I tell myself. In reality, I’m so convinced that I’m going to win every single time, that I start rearranging the furniture on the brochure before I’ve even sent off the price of the tickets.

I lie awake in bed at night wondering whether I should lease it as an executive rental, keep it as a city bolthole for friends and family, or sell it on and buy three two-bedroom units with the money I make. Will the boys enjoy going to school in Annandale? What are the council rates like St Kilda? Will we all fit in a three-storey terrace with a postage-stamp garden – and didn’t we leave the city in the first place just to avoid such a scenario?

Inevitably, my number doesn’t come up. There is no magic phone call from the Boystown Man. Instead, the draw date fades into memory and I’m left with a couple of tickets stuck to my filing cabinet.

Until next time.

This month's ticket offer arrived today. A four-bedroom, three-bathroom beachfront unit on the Gold Coast. Lucky for all you others out there that I don’t go in for that sort of thing.

{image: Boystown Lifestyle Lotteries}


  1. Oh I'm so with you with that. I've had so many dreams about those beautiful homes. Except I hanker after the ones in Queensland. The Sunshine Coast are my favourite. Oh I must go to bed and dream of a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, cinema room, fully furnished, lap pool, spa, sauna, gym room, luxury appointed kitchen, pavillion and the obligatory tennis court. Ahhhhh I would invite you for a Queensland holiday. x

  2. How funny, I have just painted my mailbox bright blue~

    I'm always sending swatches to clients, or they are sending samples to me so my mail is better than most, but my heart stirred at the mention of aerograms - for years they were my means of communication with my family and friends in Australia, and I still have them, and my mother has all of mine so they are an immediate vivid reminder du temps perdu.

    The best thing we get in the mail is Netflix! The bins are just around the corner so the junk doesn't even make it into the house.

    Here in California you can leave outgoing mail in the mailbox - big convenience~

  3. You can dream! Maybe you'll win. You've got to be in it to win it!

    I don't do any of the lottery type things either. Never buy any of those scratch card things. I often see people, really down at heel, spending their last coins on a card.

    I can play a bit of bridge. Poker stumps me. I don't think I've ever won anything - I used to work with someone who entered every competition going. He won a year's supply of Taxi bars once (chocolate wafer biscuits) which he didn't even like so we ate them in the office. A year's supply gone in a couple of months.

    I'm quite lucky on the horses though, don't study the form, sometimes see them in the paddock,- just pick the names I like.

    I think the dreaming of what you would do with it is almost as good as the winning. Well, not quite.

  4. Ahhhaaa. I don't indulge these days, but when I first moved to Australia I got addicted to the dreaming........

  5. I do exactly the same thing!
    But as we live very close to the Sunshine Coast, sometimes we actually visit the prize homes.
    Which makes it so much worse, because when you are in it, of course you think it's going to be yours, and you're secretly telling all the other sticky beaks to 'Get out of MY home!'.
    Ah well, wouldn't it be nice. :)

  6. The most exciting thing we got today was a birthday party invitation. The kiddos love the junk, though, and I enjoy letting them rip into it so I can't tell what special rate! or special offer! or one-time low price! I'm getting offered. =>

  7. Thank you, gorgeous woman! You just knew that I'd be there with you...of course, I DO go for the Sunshine & Gold Coast places. ;) You've so beautifully explained my own process, as silly as it may seem to others. Getting the chance to dream of something so outrageous is a welcome break from the hectic lives that we actually lead. Keep dreaming!!

  8. One day your house will come, Al...

    My secret to spicing up the mailbox is magazine subbies. If only they would realise this and not all put their mags out at exactly the same time each month. Oh, and as a magazine gal, can you please tell me why I receive the July edition at the end of May? Did they just get a bit ahead of themselves one time and that was it?

  9. My Mum would send my kids post cards and little things in the post quite regularly when they lived in WA. The kids loved it, as I did many years ago when something arrived in the post addressed to me from grandparents in the UK. Hmmm think I might go shopping for my little neices at lunch time and pop something in the post. Thanks Allison for another wonderful post.


Thanks for popping by the Fibro. I love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...