Stamp Please?
Off the Wall, July 6
, 2012

I imagine we all do it once in a while, some people on a regular basis without ever thinking of what is being said. In our minds, we think we know that the other person automatically is on the same wave length as us. Unfortunately, in many cases, that just ain’t so.

Recently, I received a phone call from a friend who asked, “Do you have a stamp I can borrow? With that I let out a hefty laugh, which may have been rude, I don’t know. Then I asked him, “Do you realize what you just said?” He repeated the question, and again I laughed. A matter of fact, I even chuckled longer.

Finally, I asked, Marvin, did you give any thought as to your choice of words? Then I went into the lengthy explanation that when one borrows a stamp, he cannot get it back unless the recipient returns it to him. It will be unusable again for it has been marred with ink and attached to an envelope in such a way that it can no longer be removed without tearing. That may have been a bit lengthy, but I think he got the idea.

How many times has someone asked if he may borrow a certain book only to never see it again? Human nature, unfortunately, plays into these actions. One usually hears the words, “Oh, I meant to, but I forgot.” And there is something to be said for that, for we all get busy whereby some of us load our plates with more than we can handle.

Little hints sometimes serve as a reminder for book borrowing. “Hey Mandy, between your schooling and your home life, have you gotten to chapter three in that book I lent you? That is one chapter that really blessed me.” By prompting an individual to “confess” whether or not he cracked the cover of the book in question, a lot can be learned just by that inquiry alone.

I don’t know if people still do this, but when I was a police officer in Ohio, we used to get bizarre calls that were far different than one would expect. One such incident involved us interceding between two neighbors, one whom had just moved into their new home and a good-hearted soul that had lived where he (she) lived for an extended period of time. The nice neighbor thought it may be thoughtful to take a piece of piece to the new residents of the community. All went well until they finished the piece. We were called in to get the plate back. Most anyone else would have washed the plate and returned it with graciousness and gratitude, in my opinion.

Recently, I learned of a new practice concerning tying the knot of two people. It’s called, “Destination Marriage.” How it works is that all those invited must go to the place where the marriage will take place – that’s nothing new, right? There is more to it than that. It also is the place of the honeymoon, which may be hundreds upon hundreds of miles away.

Last year, my daughter had to board a boat in Florida to board a cruise liner to help celebrate a wedding of a friend. For those who may not know it, she lives in St. Louis. She had to pay for her travel expenses to the point of getting on the large boat.

Just recently, we learned that my nephew is getting married in the Florida Keys, on the beach, no less. The reception will be there as well. They don’t know it, but I think I’m going to dress in a parka so I don’t get sunburned. No one is going to accuse me of not preparing for the UV rays. On top of that, I may wear long pants taped at the bottom so no sand gets in my socks. May have to wear some type of shoes that are sand-resistant. Haven’t figured that out yet. Anyway, I am getting sidetracked.

So we (the whole family of four) plan to attend his wedding. Just flying alone will cost a hunk not to mention another chunk to stay at the eloquent hotel overlooking the ocean for three nights.

Now, it goes without saying, I love my entire family and would do anything for them. But is this couple thinking about those to whom they sent invitations? Who is going to show up – only the rich? That certainly isn’t fair. But this is the first child of the clan who is getting married. Maybe this will start a movement (We hope. After all, my brother, sister and I all got married within six months of each other).

Glad the wedding isn’t until December. A lot of preparations can be made until then.
I asked for the cheapest room possible. Watch – I’ll be put in the linen closest. OK…

Do you think anyone will notice if I go in my bare feet? No sand in my shoes that way!

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.