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04/22/2006 - 11:35 a.m.

RELATING TO STAMPS

When you are married to a philatelist, sometimes the whole world relates to stamps—or at least it seems to do so. You go to antique stores and watch your husband gravitate to the old postcards and then startle the owner by telling her that he is interested not in the stamps, which are ordinary, and not in the pictures, but in the cancellations. (You’ve seen cancellations—the strikeovers of the stamps that the post office uses.) But worse, sometimes he relates stamps to things that seem to have nothing to do with stamps—and it works.

Last night, we finished up our wonderfully relaxing day of playing hookie by doing something we do not normally do. We went to a concert. More specifically, we went to an Arlo Guthrie concert. We were going to go to the ballgame but FogieKnight noticed Arlo Guthrie was in town and figured he could go to the ballgame any time. So, he got tickets to the concert and we went.

Because we got same-day tickets, our tickets were at the very back of the auditorium. Luckily, the auditorium was not very big. We could see--or at least *I* could. Poor, usually tall-enough FogieKnight was behind a very large and very tall (and, apparently somewhat drunk) man and had to look around him. But before the man sat down and before the concert started, FogieKnight and I were looking around with the view of the crowd that only the back seats can give.

The crowd skewed old. Frankly, except for the extremely rude young couple that, thankfully, lasted only until intermission but came in late and sat next to me, playing and exclaiming over the videogame on their cell phone and reeking of cigarettes and alcohol, we were toward the younger end of the crowd (and I’ll be fifty this summer.) The crowd looked like, well, FogieKnight put it best. He turned to me and said, “If there were not so many women here, this place could be a stamp collectors’ convention.”

And then, up popped the nice older man seated next to FogieKnight that my husband had been chatting with. “*I’m* a stamp collector.” Next thing I knew, they were off and running. The Arlo Guthrie concert had brought together two philatelists. Man, sometimes I think they are everywhere.

FogieKnight, of course, continues to believe it is not just my imagination: everything DOES relate to stamps.

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