This sad story all starts in Math class a few days back. It's about 9:30 AM.
Now I'm not one to walk out of class when I get a phone call, heck, I'm not even the kind of guy that gets calls in the middle of class. But I'm in the middle of class the other day, and my phone starts ringing. It's my Uncle Mike.
Now before I tell you about my Uncle Mike, let me tell you about the rest of my family. My dad has seven siblings, and my mom eight. A good amount of them go off and get married and what not, so when you do the math I have at least 20 or so aunts and uncles and a whole lot of cousins between the two sides.
But out of all these nice relatives who tell me 'Merry Christmas' at holiday parties, the only one to have ever visited me in college was my Uncle Mike.
It was a great visit. We were all playing flip cup in the frat house and everyone was calling him Uncle Mike. The next day we went to the bookstore and he bought me a nice sweater that said DePauw. Then he left. I don't know where that sweater is anymore.
But that's what my Uncle Mike is calling about, that bookstore. Well, first we do some chit chatting.
If I call someone about business, I try and talk business first, then chit chat second. But he buttered me up with some chit chat and I enjoyed it, and then he says, "Hey Kevin, I want you to go to that bookstore and buy some nice DePauw letterhead and write that summer boss of yours a nice thank you note."
"That's a good idea," I tell him. "I'll do it."
My Uncle Mike is an architect. He got me a job as a surveyor this summer with one of his business associates who is a civil engineer. It was a good gig and I got pretty tan.
So I go to the bookstore to pick up some letterhead. They don't have any.
I go to the post office and ask the lady at the counter if she has any letterhead. She doesn't know what letterhead is.
"You know, like some nice thick paper to write a good letter on," I tell her.
"You mean scrap paper?" She pulls out a pile of pink paper with some girly designs on it.
"Have a nice day," I tell her. Then I go to Walgreens, and then Kroger, then Walmart. All these places had great big Hallmark sections with cards for every occasion: your baby gets baptized, you love someone, your kid takes out the trash, you name it.
But I couldn't find one blank card to write my boss a letter on. So I go home and write him a thank you on some loose leaf paper. Loose leaf. I might as well have used a crayon.