Observations
family home observations

Junk Mail Pet Peeve

Now that we’ve moved into a new house, we are getting junk mail again.

Apparently, as soon as you’ve signed the papers to buy a house, your name and new address get spread far and wide to advertisers, who make sure you get a flood of “Welcome to the Neighborhood” mailings. On one hand, it’s nice to get mail when you first move in. It gives you a sense of what businesses are in the area and what they’re offering. It also brings new energy to your mailbox and makes your house purchase feel more real, especially right after moving in.

On the other hand, it reminds me of a pet peeve I have about junk mail. The majority of it has come in my husband’s name, with my name nowhere to be found, though advertisers manage to add “or Current Resident” to the mailing. I understand the “or Current Resident” line is required by the Postal Service, but, come on, I’m paying for this house, too! Can’t you manage to add me as an addressee? You’ve got room on the label.

Advertising envelope from Wayfair featuring "Welcome Home" in the upper left corner above a block of purple with white text that reads "Ready to save?", "wayfair," Exclusive Offers for New Movers," "Settle in and save on furniture, decor, and more." The right side of the envelope shows a bedroom with a comfortably-made bed. Most of the address block, except for the writer's husband's name, has been blacked out for privacy. February 2023.
Advertising envelope from Wayfair featuring “Welcome Home” in the upper left corner above a block of purple with white text that reads “Ready to save?”, “wayfair,” Exclusive Offers for New Movers,” “Settle in and save on furniture, decor, and more.” The right side of the envelope shows a bedroom with a comfortably-made bed. Most of the address block, except for the writer’s husband’s name, has been blacked out for privacy. February 2023.

 

Mailing from Closets by Design offering a variety of deals along the left side in boxes of blue, khaki, gray, and white. The address on the right has been blacked out for privacy. February 2023.
Mailing from Closets by Design offering a variety of deals along the left side in boxes of blue, khaki, gray, and white. The address on the right has been blacked out for privacy. February 2023.

I suspect this is an unquestioned holdover from a time when fewer women owned property, but that hasn’t been the case for decades now. It’s well past time to update this practice and stop assuming that there’s only one head of the household and he’s always male. How do junk mail advertisers address mail to same-sex couples? If they’ve figured out an equitable way to do this, perhaps they can apply that to couples of the opposite sex.

Anyway, that’s the bee in my bonnet. It reminds me that I should get our address on the Do Not Mail list. If we don’t get junk mail, it won’t bother me if my name isn’t on the mailing label.

2 thoughts on “Junk Mail Pet Peeve”

  1. It’s outrageous. It is also something that as a man, I fail to notice too.

    To be fair, my wife has got many advertising mail since we moved to Sweden. But I’m sure the numbers are skewed in my favor (if you exclude children-related offers).

    Have you read Invisible Women?

  2. Hi, Manoj – I haven’t heard of Invisible Women. I’ll have to look it up.

    I’m pretty sure my husband would be happy not to get any junk mail with his name on it. 😀

    An even bigger irritant is when we have an account somewhere as a couple and the business won’t put my name on the mailings. Often, when this happens, I’m not even allowed to call and talk to anyone about the account, which is infuriating. I once had to have words with a past insurance agent, telling him if it weren’t for me writing out checks each month, he wouldn’t get paid. He finally managed to get my name on the account.

Thoughtful comments welcome.