Like a thunderbolt, it hit me. I had spaced going to the post office to mail my packages! In the trunk of my car they were out of sight, and completely out of mind. I would now have to stand in line for ages in the company of countless other procrastinators in festive holiday moods. The post office is the last place I planned on being on Christmas Eve, but it was imperative my mail was postmarked before midnight, so off I went.
The line was long. Really long. And people were grumpy. And smelly. But I finally reached the front and plopped my packages on the counter. The USPS guy looked like he had worked a season or two behind the counter, and kept glancing at the clock behind me, just over my head. He sleepily recited the standard mail jargon, charged me a fortune, and tossed the packages onto the conveyor belt. As an afterthought, I asked for a book of stamps to take with me.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: "Can I see what's available in Christmas stamps?"
USPS Guy: "We ran out of Christmas stamps. Everyone is mailing this year, and they didn't make enough to last until Christmas. I've got Hanukkah stamps, Kwanzaa stamps, museum stamps.... but no Christmas stamps."
Me: "Okay, then, let's see the museum stamps."
Me: "Uh, that's a Madonna and Child."
USPS Guy: "Yeah, that's all that's available. Sorry."
Me: "But that's Jesus! And Mary!"
USPS Guy: "Yeah, we ran out of the Snowman stamps the first week of December. I can see what else we might have back here....."
Me: "Merry Christmas. I'll take the museum stamps, please."