"Why I Live at the P.O." emphasizes the distance within family units, rather than their closeness. In the story, each character seems distanced and unable to communicate well with the other members. Stella-Rondo returns from the North with a child, which is a complete surprise to the other members of the family because she told them nothing about the child. Sister can't make herself properly understood to any of her family members, and Papa-Daddy believes the lie that Stella-Rondo tells him (to the effect that Sister said he should cut off his beard). Even Papa-Daddy's money is a matter of dispute, as his daughter says he's wealthy and he disagrees. In short, no one in the family communicates very well, and, by the story's end, Sister has moved out and into the small post office where she is the postmistress. This story turns the idea of the close Southern family on its head—in fact, the family in this story can't communicate at all and is characterized by infighting and disunion.