Envelophobia: A morbid fear of the mail.
I wasn't always an envelophobe, in fact, I was once very much an envelophile. That was back when I had penpals and buddies overseas in far-off distant lands. In those days, when the postman stopped outside the front door, you could feel the pure excitement, the joy and the possibilities. Good stuff came through the letterbox. News, opinions, romance. Sometimes a little bit of hash.
Envelophobia can start anytime from your early 30s onwards, but late-onset evelophobia, which usually occurs at the tail end of a life of financial impropriety, is by far the most severe. Every missive becomes a menace. The stationary itself changes from pastel to putty coloured. The handwritten address is gone. The crooked stamp is replaced by the cold imprint of the franking machine. The letters S.W.A.L.K disappear, only to be replaced by O.V.E.R.D.U.E.
The window in the envelope gives the suggestion of transparency and honesty, but it's just a ploy. You see nothing of any value looking through this pane. In fact, that is part of the purpose of the window, it's to lull you into a belief that you're handling a harmless, empty container. Open it. Go on. What harm could it do?
Do not be deceived. Behind every transparent panel is a bank manager cracking his knuckles.
People who go on about times past and the simple joys of receiving snail mail clearly aren't getting enough final demands and solicitor's salutations. The old days were not good. Back then, a plummy English landlord would bang on your door, demand a bushel of barley, two sheep and a handjob. There was no delete button or recycle bin and the whole business had to be sorted out right there on your doorstep. Very embarrassing, and not exactly romantic.
These days, in an effort to deal with the overdue payment reminders and minimum interest requests, I've actually installed a second letter box on my front door. I've put a label underneath that reads 'spam' and, in an effort to be more realistic, instead of having a cheery little voice announce "You've got mail!" I've got a robotic monotone that says, "You've gone pale". "You're going to jail!" and "You'll get nailed!"
My postman, forever the optimist, suggested one more:
"You've made bail!"