Eleven year old girls aren't typically associated with a passion for the postal service, so one dad thought it was particularly interesting when his daughter started insisting on checking the mail every day. Most parents would be curious, and he was no different.
Was it a crush? A new neighbor dog? Did someone get a cool new car and drive it by the house every day at a specific time?
Eventually, curiosity got the best of him and he went to check the mail himself.
He shared the cuteness of what he found with Reddit.
The post was instantly popular, but initially left people with more questions than answers. There was so little information in the original post that some people wondered if the photo was staged.
They pointed to the use of the same marker as evidence.
"Does the mailman have the exact same color highlighter/sharpie?" - Savagep4nda
"What are the chances they both had the same pen?" - I_will_be_wealthy
"Fake. Wheres the purple pen that the mailman allegedly uses?" - P1tchburn
Never fear, dear readers.
We're not out here giving you a whole article with no backstory. We dug around through the comments to piece things together for you.
So apparently OP's dad has just retired from a career as a mail carrier. It makes sense that the kids think of mail carriers as friendly people because of their association with grandpa.
His 11-year-old daughter has two younger brothers who kind of drive her nuts all day long. She decided it was time for new friends who played quieter games.
So she taped the tic-tac-toe game to the inside of the mailbox, marked her X, and clipped the pink marker to the top metal latch. Then she waited.
The mail carrier obliged (yay!) and the two have had a game going since. Each day when the mail comes, his daughter runs out to check the mail carriers move, then makes her own.
She's been excited to check the mail each day because she totally figured out the perfect socially distant game to play with a new friend.
Don't mind us, we're just over here like:
how i met your mother awww GIFGiphy
We're not the only ones.
One article called the story "a metaphor for America" and used it to highlight the importance of the USPS.
Even typically jaded Reddit had to admit this was adorable.
"I laughed. I laughed really hard. Thought its really cute. Then....i started to wonder about the amount of attention she gets by OP to make her so desperate for a playmate she turns to this...."
"Then I think of my kids, realizing no matter HOW MANY TIMES I SING AND DANCE BABY F*CKING SHARK WITH THEM ITS NEVER EVER ENOUGH and feel like an a$$hole for thinking that in the first place. Sorry OP" - Stryk9gurl
"I'm a grown ass adult and now I want to play tic tac toe with my mailman" - xxkittyluvrxx
"That's so cool! I just started a game of tic tac toe with my penpal. The idea that this plain piece of paper will be traveling back and forth across the globe just amuses me somehow." - dontbeannegatron
Also, this is apparently a thing people do with their mail carriers?
"Mail carrier here, I have a game going on my route, it gets intense!" - russasaur
"Hey!!!! I'm a mail carrier and someone started this with me the other day! Little things at work make me enjoy it." - KaiserJayChief
"A little kid did this on a route I sub on. Definitely made my day!" - spaceycakes210
We didn't know this was a thing and we're bummed. We could have been playing fun games this whole time?! According to the comments, this is a trend picking up steam on the maybe-soon-to-be-banned TikTok.
Maybe we'll be seeing more if this sort of wholesome fun? It would be a nice change of pace.
People asked for an update, and OP obliged. OP also made sure to frame the image to show where the marker is kept this time.
Shout out to the haters.
It's the mail carrier's turn next and they're due to come on Monday. It's quite possible that by the time you read this, they will have made their move.
You can get the latest updates on the game here.