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Wednesday, 10 October 2007 00:00

Where do postage stamps come from?

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By Sami Felmet • Columnist

My muse seems to be marred in divorce and family issues lately. I think it was about this time of year that I became a single woman again. There were some surprises along the way. Some were hard to reconcile. Others were easier.

For example, as a woman of late middle age (old is not old any more, so I’m not sure of the terminology), I had never bought stamps. Early in my life my father provided them. With a business in town, he visited the post office daily. After I finished school and left home, I worked in situations where stamps were always available. Then I married a man who also went to the post office every day. They say girls marry fellows like their fathers. I guess that part was right. If stamps were needed, he brought some home.

Eventually, I ran out of stamps, and I faced a new adventure. I’m not sure the attendant who waited on me considered it an adventure since I looked at every stamp he had and was disappointed there weren’t more options. I still shop what’s there. I wonder about the tenure of those new stamps with no price on them. All this is by way of introducing my subject for this column.

Is it possible that in today’s enlightened society there are married women who don’t know if the bills are being paid? Or, worse yet, the taxes? The house payment? Archaic? Maybe not.

I encountered a story recently that sounded implausible but it reminded me of some lessons that every woman should know. The soon to be ex-wife in the story learned, after discovering hubby’s extra-marital affair, that her husband had not paid taxes since they were married and was considerably behind on their bills. I don’t know if it contributes to the story to mention that the “other woman” was living in their home, having been taken in when she was down on her luck. Emily Post would not approve.

If you’re a married woman who doesn’t know where the checkbook is kept and if it is balanced, find out. If you’re a married woman and don’t know if the taxes have been paid, find out. In some cases, it’s advisable to ask for proof. Statements should be coming to the home and if not, that may be a clue to do some detective work. Advisors suggest keeping a little money of your own stashed away. To whom are car payments owed? Where are the insurance policies? Don’t sign anything you haven’t read. Laissez faire is easy and life goes smoothly but it’s taking a chance with your future.

If you’re afraid to take these steps, get help from a professional now. Call a minister. Call REACH. If you’re afraid to ask questions, you’re a victim of domestic violence.

And, if you’ve never bought stamps, prepare to wait in line.

A mother of the bride learned that the stepmother of the bride had bought and planned to wear the same dress she had chosen to the daughter’s wedding. The harried daughter made an attempt to reason with the stepmother but the stepmother was adamant that she liked the dress, looked good in it and, no matter what, she planned to wear it to the wedding. The bride and her mother went shopping for a second dress. They actually found one they liked very much. When the bride reminded her mother that she would need to return the first dress, the mother said, “No, I won’t return it. I’m going to wear it to the rehearsal dinner.”

I guess one has to have fallen afoul of the stamp fairy to really appreciate that one.

(Sami Felmet lives in Waynesville and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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