Grit Blogs > Country at Heart

The Mail Man Brought 'Em

Country at HeartHave you ever heard the expression, "Mail Order Bride?"

Well, when I was a little girl, my Mother said that people could order just about anything through the mail and the mailman would bring it ... or them. She said that people used to order a husband or wife (usually a wife) through the mail and the mailman would bring him/her. She said that she'd heard of a man ordering a wife, and when she was delivered, he didn't want her. So, the mailman had to take her back. Now, I know these stories are a bit far-fetched, and while I don't believe they were true, there were some things that the mailman did bring that you probably can't "mail-order" today.

My Mother always had some kind of venture going on. She'd order us clothes from the Sears and Roebuck catalog or the Montgomery Ward catalog, or my favorite, Spiegel. Such beautiful dresses we got and the most fun part was how after she told us that she had ordered us something, everyday, we'd look for the mailman. Sorry "feminist," for my male-gender use of terms, but back then, there wasn't a "mail carrier." They were all "mailmen." So, when I say "mailman," that's what I mean. We never looked for a woman, because a woman's wasn't coming.

Additionally, I remember my Mom ordering from Lucky Heart Cosmetics and household products (a still existent company); Blair Cosmetics (now defunct); Sweet Georgia Brown Cosmetics (now under a new name, Valmor Products); Fashion Frocks (the prettiest dresses I had ever seen or worn - now defunct). Sears, Spiegel, and Montgomery Ward catalogs were our favorite dreaming magazines. We kids dreamed from the current copy until the new one arrived. Receiving the new catalogs was almost like Christmas coming!

Now, this one may be a little hard to believe, but if you're really "country," and around 60 years old, then, you probably won't have a problem believing. Rural people purchased baby chicks...well, at least the people in my "neck of the woods" did. It seems like forever ago, but I vaguely remember the long, flat, rectangular box (with holes cut in it so the chicks could breathe) being toted into the house. The little coop was probably already prepared for the few day-old chicks, because the little feathery ones had to have a place to stay just as we did.

To make a long story short, the catalogs were our version of online orders.

And, believe it or not, the mailman did bring 'em ... whatever 'em was.