And I’ve just admitted it. Not only in the headline of this blog, but also to his face.
Does anyone share a similar experience? Have you had the same UPS deliveryman for 17 years? Have you had a guy drive a big, brown truck down your quarter-mile-long driveway on a regular basis, who on some days is your only visitor? Has he seen you through two pregnancies? Has he helped you fix your lawn mower? Have you bet on him to win the annual “who-can-wear-shorts-the-longest-into the-the winter” contest? Has he read every book you’ve ever written and told you about the campfire discussion that ensued about your characters while on his Canadian vacation?
My UPS driver’s name is Robin. And Robin he most certainly is. He may not be the caped-crusader; but he may as well be the Batman of the delivery world. He’s certainly my deliveryman hero. Rhinelander Robin is the skinny-legged, shorts-wearing Brown deliveryman who is so pleasant, he MAKES me want to order things from Internet websites and more civilized places than the Northwoods, just to have them delivered.
I encountered Robin today for the first time this season when I happened into the kitchen after being hauled up in my office for two hours. I was taking advantage of generator power to do my paperwork, a daily necessity to run our resort business. This afternoon, one of exaggeratedly high winds, we’ve experienced a lengthy power-outage on property. The power is still out, and we’re not sure why other than suspecting the wind and the ominous smell of smoke wafting into our windows from the other side of the lake. Because of the noise of the generator, I didn’t hear the brown truck pull up.
Usually I sense the diesel-fueled wheels like Radar from M*A*S*H sensing choppers. Not this afternoon. I had gone downstairs to get something to drink and before opening the fridge, heard a yell. Given we have no guests in the cabins and only a handful of disc golfers on the course, the yell wasn’t very alarming. But nonetheless, I looked out the kitchen window and saw him.
Glancing to the right of our yard, sure enough, there was the big brown truck. “Robin!” I squealed. I ran to and opened the front door without checking my hair or my teeth—and soon realized I was wearing my schoolmarm glasses. And there he was wearing shorts and a smile. “Hi!” I said with all the fanfare of greeting an American Idol.
His smile was that of a teenager instead of a middle-aged man. “You’re here,” he said. He gave me the once over and flashed an approving grin. “I’ve been walking all around because I need a signature for this package.” He nodded to my right.
The delivery was stored on the table sitting on our front porch. It was the box of jewelry I had just packaged and shipped from Tucson, and tried to insure for ten grand, but didn’t because it was too expensive. Briefly examining at the well-taped box, I was happy to see it in excellent condition—definitely worth the $160 gamble I didn’t spend to add extra insurance.
As I sighed with relief, Robin took a second to look me up and down again. “Did you just get back?”
“A day or so,” I replied, camouflaging my blush. “I didn’t hear your truck because the generator’s on. We’ve had no power for a while. . . .” I shifted my weight . . . “Hi, Robin. Gosh, it’s good to see you.”
“You too!” he said. And then he hugged me, pulled back and looked me up and down for a third time. “You don’t age a bit, do you?”
From a man who’s known me for 17 years and seen me through two pregnancies, I KNEW that was a compliment. So I paid him one back.
“Oh Robin,” I said, “Am I the only girl in Wisconsin who has a crush on her UPS man?”
With that comment, he handed me the electronic clipboard and requested my signature. “Welcome back,” he said.
Then his skinny, shorts-wearing bottom bounded back to his vehicle and the rumble of a diesel-fueled engine filled our driveway. Hence, Robin and his big brown trunk ambled down Sandy Point Lane. For tonight.
Holy deliveryman, I know he’ll be back tomorrow.