I had finally received our save the dates in the mail. I spent a whole evening addressing them and organizing them, and I couldn’t wait to send them out and really make the whole “we’re getting married!” thing a reality.
The next day, I trekked to the post office to mail the cards. I knew they’d require extra postage, being square and all, and I was hoping the postlady could stamp them with a rubber stamp so I wouldn’t have to ruin my fancy envelopes with a giant row of mismatched stamps. I needed these save the dates to be pretty.
I arrived at the post office and got in line. It’s always busy there. I waited patiently with my stack of neatly-addressed envelopes, eager to ship them off. Finally, it was my turn.
“NEXT!” the postlady shrieked.
“Hello!” I cheered when I reached the desk. “I’d like to mail these, please.”
“OK” she said, taking the stack of envelopes from me.
“I know they’ll require extra postage, since they’re square, so I wanted to see if you could stamp them with something? Instead of using lots of regular stamps? They’re my wedding save the dates. I’m getting married.”
“These don’t require extra postage. See? They don’t weigh anything extra, and I think they’re just small enough. You could just use one regular stamp on each,” she replied.
“Oh! Really?” I questioned. “Well, ok then. May I buy 19 stamps, please?”
“They’re wedding invitations, you say?” she asked.
“Save the dates, yes,” I smiled. “I just got engaged.”
“Congratulations! I think we have some wedding stamps around here somewhere… Ah! Here we go.”
She rang up 19 wedding stamps. I handed her my debit card, which she swiped quickly and handed back to me. I breathed a sigh of relief. The post office people usually give me grief for trying to use my unsigned debit card, and I didn’t have any cash. Guess it was my lucky day!
She gave the cards back to me, nodding toward a low table on the other side of the room. “Go over there and put the stamps on, honey. When you’re done, just bring them back here to me and I’ll make sure they get mailed off!”
I thanked her and picked up the cards, carrying them to the table. Carefully, I placed each wedding cake stamp squarely on the corner of the envelope. So pretty, I thought to myself. When I had finished, I turned around to take them back to the woman at the counter, but I saw that she was no longer there. Another woman had taken her place. I approached her.
“Hello!” I said, handing the cards to her. “I just need to mail off these wedding save the dates!” I smiled and started toward the door.
“Um, you can’t mail these like this, ma’am,” she groaned.
“These need more postage because they’re oddly-shaped.”
Gasp! “But? I just bought the stamps! The wedding stamps? The lady who was just here – she said I didn’t need extra postage, and I bought the wedding stamps and put them on!”
“Well, she was wrong,” the coldhearted devil-woman scowled.
“Ok, well how many extra stamps do I need? I really want the envelopes to look pretty. They’re for my wedding. I’m getting married.”
“Usually, you can just use one stamp to make up the difference in postage, and we have them in a wedding design – ”
“Oh! Phew! I was afraid – ”
” – but we’re out of those. You’ll have to use these three stamps. This one’s black, use two of them, and this other one has a random bird on it. You only need one of those.” She pushed the ugly stamps toward me.
“Really?” I pouted. “Nothing prettier?”
“Oh. Ok, well ring me up then, I guess.” I handed her my credit card.
“Ma’am, I cannot accept this card,” she glared.
“What? Why not?” I knew why not.
“It’s not signed on the back.”
“You know that everyone, literally everyone, tells you not to sign your card. In this modern age, it’s such a security risk. I’m protecting my safety.”
She didn’t care.
“Oh please!” I begged. “These are my wedding save the dates! I just got engaged, and these are supposed to let the world know! And all I have is this card, and I don’t have any cash, and I need to send these! And the lady! The lady who was here! She let me use this card! Please, oh please!”
“Well, she shouldn’t have.”
[Sad Bambi eyes and pouty lower lip] “But…?”
“Fine,” she relented. “But I’ll get in big trouble for this. Don’t tell anyone [OOPS] and bring cash with you next time you come here.”
She rang up the ugly stamps with my controversial card and handed them to me. “You can put the stamps on at that low table across the room.”
Sulking, I collected the ugly stamps and took them over to the waist-high table where I had once felt so alive. With 57 stamps ahead of me, I bent over to put the first three stamps on the first envelope. They took up the whole width of the card. I stood up and examined it at arm’s length, pouting.
Resigned to my fate, I took a deep breath and bent over the table to stick stamps 23 through 57 on the cards.
And, just as I leaned forward, an old man walked by and farted loudly in my face.