Some time back I bumped into an acquaintance recently and after the usual small talk he said, “By the way, where’s my Lighthouse Digest? This is the second month I didn’t get one in the mail and I really miss it.”
I then proceeded to mention that I suppose it could have been lost in the mail and I’d be happy to look into it when I got back to the office. Then I mentioned that perhaps his subscription had run out. That’s when he sheepishly said, “Oh, I never subscribed; a relative, knowing how much I love lighthouse, got me a gift subscription a while back for my birthday.”
“Well,” said I, “that could explain why you’re not getting the magazine anymore.”
To this he replied, “I think I remember that I received a renewal notice, but I just figured my aunt would renew it for me. After all, she’s the one that got the subscription for me in the first place.”
At this point I didn’t know what to say, so I simply gave him my business card and said, “Here’s my business card to remind you to call me with a credit card number and I’ll get your subscription started again.”
To my amazement, as we walked in the parking lot and stopped by his new $45,000 car, he said, “Since I really can’t afford another magazine, I think I’ll call my aunt first and find out why she didn’t renew it for me or if she did and you guys messed up your computer or something.”
I wasn’t sure what to say at this point, but knew I surely couldn’t say what I really wanted to say. My better judgment made me keep my mouth shut.
As time went on I forgot about the chance meeting and conversation until I recently ran into this person again. We made some small talk and he asked me, “How’s the lighthouse business going?” Well, I said something to the effect, “As you know, if you’re reading the magazine each month and I hope you are - there’s a lot going on with preservation projects and we’re working as hard as ever to uncover old stories and write about them so they can be saved for future generations.”
That’s when he said, “Yeah, it’s too bad I don’t still get the magazine — you may not know, but my aunt, who gave me the subscription died. It’s too bad, cause I really like getting it — after all you know how much I love lighthouses.”
I told him I was sorry for his loss. But I felt my own sense of loss, too. I was certainly glad his aunt wasn’t “too bothered” to renew his gift.
I recently noticed, he had renewed his subscription since then.
I wonder what we’ll talk the next time we might meet? I wonder if he’ll call me after reading this?
It was then that I thought and chuckled to myself thinking I would tell him that I hope we don’t have to get every renewal this way.
This story appeared in the
September 2007 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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