Saturday, March 21, 2009

Show and Tell: Stamps

I know that it may sometimes appear that all of my time is spent drinking, working, or drinking at work, but in fact I also do the following:

  • Sleep
  • Blog
  • Comment on blogs
  • Read trashy and not so trashy novels
  • Watch films that nobody else has seen or likely will ever see
  • Eat
  • Play with my animals
  • Listen to my husband bitch about most of the above
  • Annoy my husband with incessant kisses while he watches basketball to get him back for the bitching
  • Help my mom keep from divorcing or dismembering my dad.
My parents have been married for forty something years and my dad retired about six years ago. My mom is retiring at the end of this school year and, while she is thoroughly enjoying being able to speak up about every dumb thing at school because it would take longer for them to fire her than she has time left, she knows that what awaits her at home is going to keep her from enjoying retirement. What awaits her at home is my dad and the five billion stamps with which he has filled two rooms.
My dad has three loves in his life other than his family. He loves the Cathol*c Church, the St. Lou*s Cardinals, and stamps.
I couldn't in good conscience take a picture of my dad's two rooms. Somebody would probably see the picture and call child protective services to warn them that my future children should not be allowed near this deranged man.
There are boxes and piles of stamps filling every corner of both rooms. It's like those Oprah shows with hoarders, only instead of going to the mall or watching QVC, my dad goes to stamp shows and orders off of eb@y and from private collectors.
My mom, seeing her future, has decided it is time to work towards not having to bury my dad's body under her apple tree. He is a large man after all.
I have been going over to my parents' house every week the past few months to help sort my dad's stamps. We're halfway through one room, but progress is stymied by my dad
A. Refusing to let us throw anything away. That L*nn's Stamp News from 1992? He might need to read it again.
B. Taking boxes we have sorted and mixing them together again. Clearly, whatever we were doing was incorrect so he apparently thinks we should stat from scratch.
C. Pretending to help sort, but instead sitting and exclaiming over stamps (Oh hey! This is a good stamp block! Let me tell you all about it!) and then sorting the pile I gave him into one pile. Which, in case you're wondering, is not sorting at all.
D. LAUGHING when my mother yells at him for one of the above.

The saddest part of all this is that despite my father's best efforts, none of his kids ever got into stamp collecting. Or the church for that matter. I am a Cards fan though, as is A.
This does not mean he's given up though - just as he tried to remind me that it would be nice if I came back to the church before I have kids (Ha! Little does he know. Plus, the church doesn't approve of the way in which I plan to have kids.) he jumps on any interest I show in a stamp.
Some of them are pretty cool - there seems to be a stamp for damn near anything you can think of except of course for infertility. (There is a really neat Portuguese stamp, but my dad collects US only.)
Today I got a few to take home.You can't really see them from my crappy picture, but he gave A a current Civil Rights Pioneers sheet and I took some Labor Unions and some Collective Bargaining stamps home.
I love the Collective Bargaining stamp - you can totally tell it's from the 1970s too. It says "out of conflict...accord."

Unfortunately, most of the other 4,999,999,999 stamps hold little interest for me. Sorry dad.


  1. Those are neat stamps you got to bring home. I love that Portuguese stamp you gave the link to. What a wonderful design.

  2. At least your dad has a reason... my parents are packrats. I seriously fear staying there with our child because she literally could get lost withing their piles of junk The sad thing is they did this to the house we grew up in & then packed & moved it to the new much bigger house 600 miles away. Then they collected more junk. She can't stop buying useless crap & he won't throw anything out.
    My poor sister has already been informed that she gets whatever the hell she wants as long as she deals with it when the time comes...

    At least the stamps are pretty! (or can be if displayed properly!)

  3. love the design of the stamp youy linked to.. best of luck with the stamp sorting !

  4. Your pops sounds like a gem! This is definitely one of those "can't beat 'em" situations.

  5. How funny! Your parents sound like mine. My mom was always bitching about something and my dad always laughing about it. I've never gotten into stamps, either. He has quite the collection though. That's pretty cool!

  6. May I just copy your post down through the bullet points and put it on my blog this week?



  7. I'm trying to imagine the rooms overflowing with stamps--too funny. Your mom is a saint! Love the "out of conflict..accord" stamp, that's really cool.

  8. My parent have been married for over 40 years, too. Only my mom is Rom Cath... and a saint considering she puts up with my dad. Her trial, really, though is my grandmother who lives with them. When they moved her out of the house she shared with her sister for 20-something years (both widows) the garage was full of plastic grocery bags. Bags of bags. Bags of bags of bags. Not to mention stacks of those free address labels, every magazine and catalog that had ever passed their mail slot, coupons for stuff they don't make anymore... And heaven help you if you wanted to throw any of it out...

  9. Manny and I agree that stamp is the coolest stamp we've ever seen. It is AWESOME!

  10. Cards fan here too! I can't say that stamps have ever really made me warm or fuzzy. My mom love coin collecting and has found new hope in my hubby who listens to her coin stories. He's such a suck-up!


  11. My parents have been married for a little over 3 decades.

    I made a stamp book just once in my life - that is, as a school project that I was expected to submit at the end of a summer.

    I love that statement - "Watch films that nobody else has seen or likely will ever see"

    The same for me too. My tastes are not always the popular choice.

  12. Oh, I really like the portugese stamp!

  13. Well, 1 out of 3 ain't that bad. It's rough dealing with packrat parents. Perhaps he needs to open his own stamp store, IRL or online? That kept my mom's antique accumulation within humane bounds...

  14. That is a great stamp! And what is it with Dads becoming great horders? My folks are in the process of moving and half the stuff my mom puts in the garage sale/throw away pile he tries to repack?!?!