Believe it or not, a Christmas stamp story

Published 7:03 am Friday, December 24, 2010

by Melody Thorp Speegle

I went to the post office in Franklin on Monday to mail my brother’s birthday card and one Christmas card.

I try to mail a birthday card every year, as long as I can remember, because his birthday is on the down side of Christmas, Dec. 26. For him it has always been “leftover day.”

I waited in a very long line as I wanted Christmas stamps for each envelope. When it was my turn, I asked if they had Christmas stamps.

“Yes,” the clerk replied.

“I would like two, please.”

Lucky me, they weren’t sold out.

The clerk replied, “We can’t sell you just two. You can buy a full sheet of 20.”

She held the page aloft.

Surprised beyond belief I replied, “Who are you going to sell them to after Christmas?”

She pulled another full sheet with an elderly lady’s face on them.

“Would you like Mother Teresa?” she asked.

“No!” I replied, while viewing her lovely aged face with multiple layers of holy wrinkles. “I just want two Christmas stamps for two Christmas cards!”

There was a mumbled reply about the post office policy. I didn’t wait for the clerk to finish.

“Just give me two stamps for the cards,” I said.

I paid my 88 cents.

The postmistress was standing in the next stall and I looked directly at her, and repeated, two decibels louder so the whole post office could clearly hear.

“Do I understand correctly?” I asked. “I can’t buy just two Christmas stamps for two Christmas cards, actually my brother’s birthday? I have to buy a whole sheet of 20.”

The postmistress was shaking her head affirmative, as she also started to pitch the policy or some other nonsense, and I turned to leave, but took a moment to put her in her place.

“My father retired after 32 years with the post office, and there…”

I found myself at a loss for words as I am sure she could read my mind. Shaking my head, I left before my tongue could get me into real trouble.

I did turn and wish the group a Merry Christmas.

MELODY THORP SPEEGLE is a Franklin resident. She can be reached at 757-214-4002.