Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Val's Philatelistic Dilemma

Okay. You've had the skinny on my all-you-can-eat birthday feast. Now for the next task that kept me busy on Sunday, the writing of the thank-yous.

Let the record show that Val is not a conventional Emily Post etiquette type of gal. She does not set a table with 20 forks and use them from outside in. She does not give one whit about wearing white after Labor Day, nor is she concerned with her purse matching her shoes, or how to fold a handkerchief into her husband's suit pocket. Yes, she will write thank you notes, because that is a matter of common decency. But as far as keeping it simple, refraining from composing an essay...Val uses her own judgement. So the notes took a bit of time, over two days, until she was satisfied with the results. If Mom had a tight connection with some of the respect-payers, far be it from Val to short them in their thank-yous. I wanted a personal anecdote to let them know that I indeed knew who they were.

The thank-you cards with accompanying envelopes that my sister the ex-mayor's wife gave me were adequate for a one-size-fits-all note, but not for my purposes. I got a few full-size cards for special people. Hick's workplace had sent a beautiful large flower arrangement, which he had pointed out to everyone, just before pointing to the smaller plant from my administration, while neglecting to also show the garden stone from the staff in my particular building. So I told him I was sending a thank you card, and he said, "Huh. Most people just tack up one of those little cards on the bulletin board." He's so great with his support.

Sooo...I had about a dozen regular size cards, and a bunch of those little ones, and they were all needing stamps. Lucky for me, I had sent The Pony in to get my last two books of stamps, specifying the flag forevers with their little firework motif...

and in his way, he had returned with ONE book of flag stamps, and another of sissy flowers. "I couldn't help it!" he said. "They only had one book of flag stamps, and she just gave me the flowers." I was not a fan of the Winter Flowers. I had been putting them on my bills. TAKE THAT, you moneygrubbers! But I still had quite a few flower stamps left. They went well on funeral thank-you notes.

Then I ran out.

Off I went to the dead-mouse-smelling-post office, eager to grab some more sissy flower stamps. Not that it would actually matter to anyone who got the card. But it mattered to me, the micromanager. Well. They were fresh out of those sissy flower stamps, having no doubt foisted them off on other women's sixteen-year-old sons who wouldn't think to complain. Nor did they have any of my flag stamps, which I think was called the Star Spangled Banner Stamp. I don't know about you, but that one should never go out of style, in my opinion.

The dead-mouse-clerk pointed to the display on the counter. "Here's what I have." Hmpf. None of them suitable for a funeral thank-you envelope. Sure, people may not have minded what kind of stamp I put on there, but seriously, wouldn't you look askance at a funeral thank-you sporting Batman?  Mom wasn't Batman.

Or a Neon Celebrate Stamp? I don't think even the staunchest believer in eternal life would choose to view the passing of one's beloved mother as a celebration.

Winter Fun did not quite seem appropriate. It's not like we were out building snowmen and ice skating.

And as many times as I had watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with Mom as a child, I couldn't see putting Rudolph or Hermie or The Abominable Snowman on her thank-you cards.

Which brings us to my last choice, the Jimi Hendrix Stamp. I'm not really sure Mom was a fan.

The dead-mouse-clerk saw my dilemma. "Wait. I think I have the perfect thing that would go on those little thank-you envelopes. Here."

Yeah. The Sealed With Love Stamp. I went with that.


  1. The sealed with love stamp is the perfect choice.

  2. I don't think I've ever paid attention to the stamp I receive on a letter.

  3. Val--I think you stumbled onto the perfect choice. However, since you took such time with the notes, the stamp won't be noticed...

  4. A Philatelistic Dilemma indeed! Your momma would be proud of your persistence and your good taste.

  5. Good final choice, though when I go, I want Batman or Jimi Hendrix just to make people scratch their heads. Joeh's comments made me laugh!

  6. Stephen,
    I agree. Even better than Winter Flowers.

    I think she would appreciate my effort. I guess I'll know for sure if I happen to find a five-dollar bill.

    I don't doubt that one bit. Or the Mrs. C part, either.

    Heh, heh. The balance is restored to the universe.

    I like to think so. She raised me right.

    I think Mom might have been okay with Jimi Hendrix. She didn't know who he was, but she used to take her dry cleaning to Jimi's Cleaners, and she had a really good friend with the last name of Hendrix.