|"Their album - it's an excuse." Stamps from Austria|
I learned to stitch, sew, and knit in elementary school in Austria but handiwork was not my forte. On the contrary. Crafts used to be the one subject I loathed - though I believe that my mother still keeps the red and blue pot holder I crocheted in second grade. (It was supposed to be a square but ended up an irregular trapeze.)
The other thing I was wondering about when the packet arrived is whether young people still collect stamps. When I was in high school I knew a guy my age with a collection. Someone had warned me about young men with stamps: "If they ask you to come and look at their album - it's an excuse." I went anyway.
My stamp guy was the nerdy type, very intelligent but socially awkward. His passion for stamps fascinated me the way alien things often do. By visiting him I hoped to find out what fueled his excitement for small, sticky backed pieces of paper.
We spent an hour together, went through the collection. There were no petit point items and no Blue Mauritius either. All my nerd had was a book with rows and rows of flat, two dimensional stamps from Austria, Germany, and France. I failed at seeing behind his passion, and the album was no excuse for anything, the date dull as a crafts class.
To this hour I cannot understand what drives people to collect stamps - or to spend their days doing needlework. One day I hope to find someone who can tell me. Until then I'll hold onto my petit point stamps from Austria.