Everyday Ethics

Here’s my quandary.  It’s been a long day.  I’m tired and grumpy.  My husband, who usually brings the mail upstairs, is home sick so I’m the one swinging by our building’s mailboxes on the way back from work.  This in itself poses no problem.  I’m happy to do the little things like take out the trash and pick up the groceries until he gets back up on his feet.  Gamely, I drag out the usual stack of catalogs, advertisements, bills and coupon packs.  Then a small flyer breaks loose from the bundle and flutters to the floor.  It’s addressed to my husband, but that’s not what catches my eye.  No, what snares my attention is the rather scantily clad female boldly beckoning from the page, inviting him to subscribe to a certain adult publication.  

Now, when it comes to things like other people’s diaries and the U.S. Mail, I tend to be something of a stickler.  I’m no girl scout, but I believe in the sanctity of correspondence in all its forms.  I’ve been known to bring home two copies of the exact same catalog because one is addressed to my spouse and the other to me.  I don’t believe in censorship.  And I think everyone should know about their options, even if it’s only the option to change cell phone providers or sponsor a child for the price of a daily cup of coffee.  But this sexily posed siren is an insult to our marriage as well as our mailbox.  I know my hubby and I’m not really worried about him being tempted.  But do I really want Boobhilda in our house?  It would be so easy just to drop her in the recycling bin.  No one would know. 

Just then, a woman about my age comes into the mail alcove and sees me dithering.  I notice she’s wearing a wedding ring, so I wave the flyer at her and quirk my brow.  Laughing a little with embarrassment, I say, “Would YOU bring this to your husband?”  She gives me a tight smile and a shrug, turning away.  New Yorkers are so friendly.  Guess I’m on my own.

Ultimately, I do take the flyer home, and am gratified to see my husband toss Boobhilda in the trash without a second glance.  In our marriage, it’s all about trust.

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