“The Future Me “
A loud screech rips through the post office as the voice of the new Branch supervisor, Glynis Rucker, echoes though the PA system. Ears still ringing from Glynis’ announcement, the DLO team is hardly ready for the arrival of the perky carrier, Kimmi Cooper. Kimmi picked up an undeliverable letter on her route and decided to personally deliver it to the DLO office. Kimmi is also keenly interested in meeting Rita, her rival for the title of Miss Special Delivery. Shane quickly realizes Kimmi’s ulterior motives and moves quickly to shoo her out of the DLO office.
In the meantime, Oliver is turning over a new leaf after his emotional confrontation with Shane. After spending a night house cleaning, he’s unable to stop throwing away items from his past. That also includes the bin of lost letters from Paris, which he had been clinging to in hope that one letter would be from his wife. He attempts to reassure the team that he’s fine saying, “Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature’s delight. I stand before you, delighted.” Rita and Norman are not convinced, but the team is content to move forward and investigate the letter Kimmi dropped off.
The letter was found in the drawer of an old school desk. The delivery address was torn away and the forever stamp on the envelope means the letter could have been written yesterday or 7 years ago. Upon closer inspection, it appears that a young female wrote:
“Dear Mrs. Richards, Do you remember me? I hope so. My favorite color is purple. I hate math (it makes my head hurt). And I love stars. But more than anything, I looove flowers. Please tell me that you love flowers, too. I will be very sad if you don’t. But you know that, so why am I telling you? You were a beautiful bride. I know that’s true because your dad told me you were the most beautiful bride he had ever seen. Even Bobby said that the flowers in your hair made you look like an angel. You’re so lucky to have Bobby. He is sooooo handsome. I’ll bet all your friends are jealous. Remember to be nice to Bobby. Don’t be bossy. He just wants to take care of you. And try to get along with everyone, even when they say stupid, mean things. Just be happy. Oh…and I hope you’re dancing under the stars with flowers falling down. Because when I close my eyes, that’s how I see you.
After confirming the address of the furniture shop where the letter was found, Norman heads to the store for his first ever solo investigation. His absence gives Shane an opportunity to press Oliver about the distance that’s arisen between them. Oliver insists that nothing’s changed, but as Shane moves to brush a crumb from his shoulder, he reflexively pulls away. Fortunately, Rita walks in at that very moment, offering a much-needed break from the awkward situation. And as luck would have it, Shane has some important information for Rita.
Shane has learned that Kimmi Cooper is a “branch hopper,” someone who moves from branch to branch in a quest to become Miss Special Delivery. This information brings out the fighter in Shane, who is now determined to make sure Rita represents the branch in the pageant. But, as she talks with Rita, she learns that there may be a bigger problem ahead. The other contestant is the daughter of the new branch supervisor, Glynis Rucker. Glynis is a hardnosed supervisor who runs a VERY tight ship. And her daughter, Vivinee, has been dreaming of becoming Miss Special Delivery since she was a kid. What’s more, Glynis has it quite clear that she’ll squash anyone who gets in her way!
Back on the trail of the investigation, Shane and Oliver track Bobby Richards to a local flower shop. Bobby, who has Down syndrome, immediately recognizes the handwriting as that of his co-worker and girlfriend, Ellie. Bobby calls Ellie from the back of the shop for an explanation. Embarrassed, Ellie, who also has Down syndrome, explains that the letter was written to her future self as part of an assignment in high school. Ellie re-reads the letter, laughing and enjoying the walk down memory lane. She says she’s dreamed of marrying Bobby since they were teenagers and as soon as her parents give the ok, she will. As Ellie comes to the end of the letter her mood turns angry and she demands to go home. When Ellie gets home it becomes clear why she hasn’t gotten married. Ellie immediately confronts her father, revealing the deep-seated tension between a young woman wanting to be free and her father who won’t let go.
After what’s clearly been a long day. Shane joins Rita for a drink. At the bar, they discuss strategy for the Miss Special Delivery Pageant. As they discuss Rita’s talent, her flawless memorization of the 2014 Postal Handbook, Glynis Rucker shows up. Vivinee is also at the bar and is giving a show stopping singing performance. Seeing the competition up close, Shane decides they need to take drastic action. So with makeover on her mind, Shane gives Rita a sexy new look. Her new look leaves Norman and Oliver speechless! But the team quickly pulls themselves together when Ellie’s father shows up looking for details from the letter. Ellie and Bobby ran away to get married and the families are desperate to find them.
As it turns out, the wedding Ellie pictured in her letter was an exact description of her parents’ wedding. After a day of frantic searching, Ellie and Billy are finally found and while they did get their marriage license, they didn’t fill out a date. The couple refuses to get married until Ellie’s father gives his support. But unable to let go, Ellie’s father refuses to concede. Ellie storms off giving Billy the opportunity to confront Ellie’s father. Billy challenges Ellie’s father to confront his misconceptions about his daughter. Seeing that he, and not her disability, is responsible for holding Ellie back, he finally yields. In the same barn her parents were married, Ellie and her father walk down the isle. The spirit of the occasion also puts a crack in wall between Oliver and Shane. As the wedding winds down, Oliver asks Shane if she remembers the steps from their ill-fated dance. Shane says that they can give it a try. She takes Oliver’s hand, and the two dance together under the stars.
As luck would have it, the stage is also set for the finals of the Miss Special Delivery pageant. Norman, Oliver, and Shane anxiously wait for Rita to appear. When she does, they are shocked to see the plain old Rita and not her new sexy persona. Rita explains that she wants the judges to see the real Rita. But before she heads to the stage, Norman gives Rita one tip…to be like his favorite bug, the tree lobster. Its hard exoskeleton makes it virtually “unsquashable.” Despite Glynis’ threats to squash her, Rita stands “unsquashable” and proudly represents the DLO team in the Miss Special Delivery Pageant.