I’ve been getting nice mail from attractive and intelligent people who are new PaperGirl readers. May I be the first to welcome you! (There’s no one around here but me, but just the same.)
Today’s post is about how everything I print out of my amazing, obnoxious printer has German philosophy on the back of it. But for this to be entertaining in any way, new reader, I have to tell you about Claus.
If we were at a party and you introduced me and Claus to your eight-year-old niece, you’d say, “Suzie, this is Mary. And this is Claus. Her special friend.”
Claus is a German philosopher. He has many letters after his name and he has written numerous books in both Fancy English and Lofty German. He is tall and says funny things. We spent a wonderful year together going on road trips, learning from each other, aggravating each other, and growing as individuals. I miss him, because Claus moved back to Germany in May and that was hard, but — and let’s go with this explain-to-an-eight-year-old thing:
“Suzie, sometimes two people who care for each other very much can’t be together.”
“Because the timing’s not right.”
“Let’s see if there’s any Jell-O salad left.”
When Claus moved back to Berlin, he had a lot of papers that he didn’t need/couldn’t take with him: reams of photocopied passages and chapters from various German texts he used in his research. I’m a big believer in using paper twice if possible, so I happily absorbed all that paper into my Paper Cupboard. Now, unless it’s official business (e.g., contracts, stern letters) everything I’ve printed out for the past five months and will print out for the next year will have terrifying German academic writing on the back.
It’s a nice memento, actually.
“Suzie, did you know that Claus sent Mary a big box of birthday presents on her birthday all the way from Germany?”
“Yes, he did. Wasn’t that nice?”
“Yes, Auntie. Claus is a nice man.”