I mentioned in last week's column about how my friend Theresa is on a "Let's get organized" kick, with my car being at the top of the list. All week people have been "Oh-ing" and "Ah-ing," and I'm proud to report the car is still very neat and tidy. So far, so good.
This coming Sunday is supposed to be Part II, with the focus being on my walk-in hall closet. Anything that can be piled in there from unused furniture to Christmas decorations is, so it should be interesting to see how it turns out.
But I'm also doing some organizational stuff on my own - last Sunday, I tackled my kitchen table, which had several piles cluttering around the small space carved out for only me to eat. And, you know what, I have figured out part of the problem: As I go through the clutter, throwing out what's no longer needed, I make a pile of stuff that needs to be filed away. The only thing is, it never gets filed away, so consequently more piles form and I still have the one I started with in the first place. So I need to work on following through to the filing.
Anyway, as I was sorting out the stuff on my kitchen table, I suddenly remembered it's my friend Kim's birthday this week. I pulled out my stash of cards - which are organized in one of those nice card organizers from Hallmark - and searched for a birthday card. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I found that I had a lot of Easter cards. Since Easter is only a few weeks away (on my birthday, no less) I wrote them out, addressed them and even had the stamps and return labels to place on them. So, in the morning all I needed to do was go to the post office and drop them in the box. I was feeling pretty exhilarated that I was organized enough to get that ready to go.
I even went a step further and signed and addressed my tax returns, which I've had for a week. I was even prepared to make copies of them first, but the envelopes were addressed, stamped and ready to go just as soon as I made the copies. I was feeling a sense of accomplishment, which carried on after I had made the trip to the post office and dropped them in their allotted boxes.
In the office later that day, I mentioned to Micki about sending a card to Kim (I improvised a birthday card), who is our former coworker Bryan's wife, and also told her about mailing out all the other stuff. "I even had the stamps and everything, so I was good to go," I said, proud as punch.
She's also been preparing thank you cards for people and said a few of the people she would email, thereby saving her the 39-cent stamp.
"39 cents... " I said. "Stamps are 39 cents now?"
"I think so, why?" Micki asked.
"Because I put 37-cent stamps on everything" - everything being cards, rent check, tax returns, etc. - I said.
"Well, maybe they are 37 cents, I'm actually not sure," she replied. I could tell she was trying to soothe me, but the sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach told me she was right. I do now vaguely recall them increasing from 37 cents.
Micki suggested I call the post office, which I did. They confirmed - stamps are now 39 cents. I asked the lady if it would be possible for me to come and retrieve the mail, only to be told it had gone out 45 minutes ago. She said as long as there was a return label it would get sent back to me. She also said that sometimes the mail was getting by with just the 37-cent stamps.
I hung up the phone, knowing there was nothing I could do but wait to see if the mail is returned. But my burst of organization had fallen flat. I was deflated.