The mailbox next to my front door is old, rusty, and leaky. If there’s heavy precipitation, or heavy wind with some precipitation, my mail gets soaked. The last victims were all of my birthday cards :o(.

I’ve gotten permission from my landlord to pick out a new one and charge him for it. Unfortunately, and rather surprisingly, Home Depot had no weatherproof mailboxen in stock. All the had were a bunch of chintzy (I just learned from Dictionary that this means “brightly but gaudily colored”, not “cheaply made” as I use it) metal boxes identical to what I have.

Apparently mailboxen are still be sold exclusively to old ladies who require a shiny metal box on the front of their house. There were two old ladies shopping for mailboxen at the same time. This style of mailbox is called an “architectural mailbox”, which strikes me as stupid. Who cares what your mailbox looks like; what matters is that it holds the amount of mail you receive and protects said mail from the elements.

I’ve just started looking online, and feature set orthogonality is rearing its ugly head again. It looks like you basically can’t get a weatherproof mailbox without also getting a secure mailbox. I definitely don’t want to deal with a slot or key system; what I want is a new version of what I have, but made out of plastic and with a grommet seal all around the lid and hinge.

Home Depot earns some big dumb points for designing their website so that you have to use the “back” button on their web page, instead of the “back” interfaces of your browser, because of the way their web forms post to the server. Boo to web applications that override your browser’s interface paradigm.

Home Depot also earns some dumb points for not having plastic bags in any size other than what I would call grocery store standard. I mean, kudos for reducing plastic usage and waste… but not all of your customers come in a car. Some of us need handles to carry large items home on the bus. You could at least hide a few away to be obtained by request.

I guess the real lesson here is that I need a large canvas shopping bag.

A note to any online merchants who manufacture or sell mailboxen: show an image sequence of the mailbox’ opening mechanism. This is, in my mind, the key component of the product.

Perfect Day (Hoku)” from One Light On by Stanford Mixed Company


2 responses to “Mailboxen”

  1. You’d think that “weatherproof” would be a pretty basic mailbox feature. Why would anyone want a mailbox that doesn’t keep the mail dry when it rains? Sheesh.

    Trader Joe’s makes good large canvas shopping bags.

  2. In my experience, even non-waterproof mailboxes generally do keep the mail dry, provided that a) they have a lid that closes and covers the opening, and b) they are large enough for your mail, so the lid can actually close.

Nurd Up!