Wednesday, August 7, 2013

French and Forever Stamps

Yesterday I had an international letter to mail so I went to the Post Office. I was writing to the Josef Krips Association! It is in Switzerland.

I am sending in my membership forms. As a Buffalonian I wish to be part of the organization that celebrates our former Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra music director. Plus Leonard Pennario played with Krips on several occasions. They admired each other.

Joining the Josef Krips Association is thrilling because all correspondence is conducted in French and I am beginning to regret that at Sacred Heart, I talked and gossiped with my neighbor all through my French classes. I remember Sister Pat saying, "This is French class. This is not Country Club!" But alas. Or zut alors, as I should say. That is all water under the Pont. (Pont is bridge. I remember that.)

A trip to the Post Office is always thrilling too. It is an adventure because you never know what you will find.

Remember that other time I was mailing overseas letters? What mess that was!

This visit was less dramatic. The clerks were casual and kicked back as if they had not a worry in the world. One of them took a package to be mailed and lobbed it across the room into a basket quite a distance away. Did he make the basket? He did! "Nice shot," I said.

Luckily the clerk I got did a nice job of stamping my correspondence to the Association. It was not like that other time.

She used a round stamp! That is it up above. "Stamp," by the way, is "timbre" in French. I had to use the word in an email to the Krips Association the other day. It is funny, just a tiny bit of correspondence and you start learning all these words. My French is 300% better than it was just a couple of weeks ago!

I was shocked at the Post Office to learn that now all stamps are Forever Stamps. As I walked back to the office I puzzled that out.

On the one hand it is convenient because you can keep using the stamps and they do not get outdated.

On the other, what if you have extra ounces in the envelope or something, and you need extra postage? How do you figure out what your various Forever stamps were worth? Would you have to use just a number of Forever stamps, foregoing the savings of a few pennies per extra ounce you used to get? I am not sure I like the timbre of this.

There is one other ominous overtone. All I can think is that this means the Post Office is failing.

They want your money up front!

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