People often ask my wife why she puts up with me.
I usually suggest it’s because of my boyish good looks and charm.
I have always taken her silence as a sign she agrees.
And it’s all because of my stamp collection.
You see, over the years in various jobs, I’ve been sent several first release stamp sets by Australia Post, which I’ve diligently tucked away in a bottom drawer in the belief they would one day be worth something.
A few years back, a mate who knows a thing or two about finances asked: “So Damian, what’s your long-term financial plan?”.
And I gave him the same answer I give everyone else – “I’m planning on winning the lottery”.
He walked away shaking his head in disbelief and muttering something about the world going to hell in a handbasket.
It only occurred to me later that I should have told him about my stamps. That would have impressed him.
It had certainly impressed my wife when, probably 15 years ago, l told her in hushed tones about “the stamp collection”.
It was, I told her, a little nest egg that was tucked away in a box somewhere and gaining in value with every day that passed.
“Stick with me,” I told her.
“One day we’ll be flying first class and drinking only the best bourbon.”
And so she stuck with me through year after year of columns which I found hilarious and she was willing to tolerate.
And when people asked why she put up with me, she allowed me to talk about my boyish smile and charm.
So imagine how excited she was the other day when we had a clean-up and I found the box containing the stamp collection tucked away in the ceiling.
You could have cut the air with a knife as I unpacked the cardboard sleeves containing the stamps – all still in pristine condition.
I could hear choirs of angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus as I held the collection aloft and promised to name our next child Philately.
The choir was still singing as I logged onto the internet and found a stamp collecting site that would reveal just how rich we were.
“So, how much are they worth?” my wife asked as I flicked between websites, furiously scribbling numbers on a piece of paper.
“Ahh, let me see, that’s seven, carry the one, minus the common denominator plus the square root of pye … about $120,” I muttered.
“Per stamp?” she asked.
“No, sorry, I forgot the decimal point – about $12.50 … for the lot,” I replied.
I won’t tell you what she said next but part of it was lamenting the fact she’d wasted the last 15 years of my life etc etc.
And there was something about sticking my boyish charm somewhere.
I don’t suppose anyone knows a good financial advisor?
Or next week’s winning lottery numbers?