Wednesday, January 24, 2007

From the archives, with Love

When was the moment you first discovered that the person you'd pledged the rest of your life to is crazy? For me, it was when we addressed our wedding invitations. Let me tell you, if you're going to get married, this is where you should start. If you, as a couple, can't survive this process, you might as well call the whole thing off. Where to live, when to have kids, how to pronounce "tomato", it's all a bunch of hooey. There are far more serious issues which you, as a couple, must deal with.

I'm talking, of course, about buying the right stamps.

I thought I was doing the right thing. I was at the Post Office the week before, and as I finished my transaction, the clerk asked me if I would like to buy any stamps today. Normally, I would pretend to agonize for a while before reluctantly saying no (hey, I don't want to even RISK starting a random spree of violence. Heck, I've let girlfriends down harder than I turn down my local postal worker, and I have the falsetto range to prove it); anyway, this time, I said, "Sure, I'll take a roll of a hundred stamps, please Mr. nice totally non-disgruntled Postal Employee." I thought this was pure genius. Here I was, thinking A FULL WEEK AHEAD (well, two days, really, but that's practically a week), and I was thinking about US, as a COUPLE, looking toward OUR FUTURE LIFE TOGETHER. If that wasn't worth some nookie on the weekend, I didn't know what would be. I made sure my fiancee knew all about the stamps at the next opportunity.

So imagine my surprise when she bought, not a hundred, but TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY stamps later that same week. I was confused. "But...but I...but...I have a hundred," I stammered, seeing my $37 investment in nookie turning into so much Enron stock.

"Oh, we can't use THOSE stamps, silly," she said, patting me affectionately on the head, much as you would a puppy that managed to pee on the carpet near the door rather than in the middle of the room. "They're not Love stamps."

Love stamps? I was vaguely familiar with these. Instead of toy trains or breast cancer or fat Elvis, they had some form or another of "love" on them. Not even the good forms, like Radar Love or a Groovy Kind of Love or even Courtney Love (available in self-adhesive only--would you put your tongue anywhere on that?). To the best of my knowledge, though, they were still worth thirty-seven cents apiece.

Unwilling to seek out the professional help that my fiancee so obviously needed, I thought I would consult with a representative sample of the female population. So I polled all of the recently married female employees in my office.

"Love stamps?" she responded. "No, I wouldn't give you a hard time for not getting Love stamps. The invitations will probably cost sixty cents to mail, though. The response cards, too. So I'd kick your ass for not getting the right amount of postage."

Let me get this straight: you're telling me that it's going to cost me $1.20 just to find out that Uncle Edgar is going to be coming to embarrass me with the story of "The Noodle Incident" again? Are you kidding? Who came up with this idea?

Fortunately, disaster was narrowly averted when the Post Office was able to produce sixty-cent Love stamps. But that's not the point.

Isn't it time to change? This is a new millenium! Emily Post is past! Miss Manners is missing the mark! Why can't we just e-mail our invitations? Click, click, click, and everybody's invited. We'll know by next week who's coming or not! People, it's time to start a revolution! Write to your newspapers! Write to your congressperson! Write to the President!

I'll even supply the first 340 stamps!

2 comments:

Doug Chiarello said...

Ahhhh---I remember those days when we were clueless bachelors drinking beers, playing softball, and not knowing what stamps to pick out.

Now we've upgraded to loyal husbands and proud fathers drinking beers, playing softball, and not knowing what stamps to pick out.

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Good Luck!