I, on the other hand, despite being PRE-APPROVED!!! for every major credit card (and some I've never even heard of), and despite being the recipient of what may be "Your Last Catalog!" from uncountable mail-order companies at least four or five times a week, AND despite having actually donated to various charities in the past, have never received any address labels of my own.
I have to admit that Chewie doesn't send out much mail, so I have some extra ones, but I got a little bit tired of explaining about why my return address belonged to a Star Wars character, so I figured, Hey! I'll get my own!
It started out pretty simply. Disabled American Veterans (henceforth to be known as "DAV") was an obvious choice. I mean, they have a thingy on their website where you can order free address labels! I mean, it's not technically free, because I think there's some sort of donation or shipping charge involved, but hey -- address labels! Plus, I am actually a disabled American veteran by the way these things are reckoned, and so it seemed a perfect fit! I filled out the form, put in my credit card number for however much it was, and sat back smugly in anticipation.
Soon, yes, SOON, I would have address labels with my actual name and address on them! They would be all mine!
Then the confirmation page came up. "You should receive your address labels within four to six weeks," it informed me.
WHAAAATTT??? Four to six WEEKS? I could write my own set of address labels by hand in that amount of time! I could hire a calligrapher to do them up all fancy! What the hell kind of free label service is this?
I grumped around as I perused the rest of the site, when I noticed that I actually qualified to BE a member of DAV due to my status as a disabled veteran. Turns out, they don't care how disabled you are, as long as you're disabled! I'm only ten-percent disabled, you see, but they were fine with that! They're like an equal-opportunity disabler! Disablee? Disability enabler?
Wait, that didn't come out right.
Anyway, the more I read about the organization, the more it seemed like a good idea to join. Not only would joining donate money (there's a membership fee), but it would also get me all the perks of being a DAV member! There are other good things that go along with that, such as, when Congress looks around for disabled veterans, DAV can show them their membership numbers, and just maybe Congress will go, "Wow, gosh, there are a lot of disabled veterans. Maybe we ought to shell out some money to help them!"
Shut up, it could happen.
Congress could pass laws to help veterans!
It's a good organization, with a mission I truly believe in.
Plus, I bet you get even COOLER address labels if you're a member!
So, I went through the process and signed up, paid my dues, and was on my way to being an official Lifetime Member of DAV.
This was on June 6.
After approximately one week, I received my welcome packet! I tore it open with glee, but all it contained was a newsletter explaining where my local chapter was, contact numbers, and so forth.
Today, I received two largish packets from DAV! Surely one of them would have my address labels! I ripped into the one like a kid on Christmas ... but no. Nothing but a fat packet of various brochures for discounts available to DAV members.
I opened the second -- it contained my Lifetime Member Membership Card and my official DAV pin.
In two days, it will have been six weeks since I ordered my free address labels. I now have cards and schedules and coupons and even a PIN.
But no labels.
And tomorrow, my grandmother is going to be wondering who the hell "Chewbacca" is, and why he or she is living at my house and sending her a letter.
I tell you -- address labels come like a thief in the night when you least expect them. They're not something you can pursue on your own with any success. You either get them, or you don't.
Sadly, I had to discover this the hard way.
On the good side, it is quite a nice pin.