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Sweet taste of rejection

As movie character Forrest Gump says, life is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you are going to get.

This reference seems apt this morning because of what was delivered to me by the U.S. Postal Service yesterday.

As everybody knows, Numismatic News mails out subscription offers. Some of the responses are sent directly to me rather than to the circulation department.

Over 35 years I have read many kinds of refusals to subscribe.

Some are sad messages citing job loss. Others are angry messages asking how Numismatic News has the nerve to ask for money.

One set of responses came from someone who returned multiple offers over time with the circulation department’s handiwork proofread and corrected.

All of this is a part of my job.

Yesterday, though, I think will rank at the top of my list of subscription-related stories.

A box arrived. It had originally been mailed to the firm that handles our circulation from Palm Coast, Fla.

Someone at that firm opened it, but then resealed it and sent it to Numismatic News here in Iola, Wis. That’s how I got it.

I opened the box.

In it was a box of chocolates.

These are not just any old chocolates. They are high-end chocolates with names like Ruby Port Truffle, Salted Praline & Caramel and Chocolate Volcano.

Initially, I did not see anything else in the long, thin outer box.

I walked over to the desk of colleague Bob Van Ryzin and I asked if he happened to know the sender, because I could not figure out why he would be sending chocolates to Numismatic News.

He didn’t know.

This prompted to look back into the outer box.

There was a little slip of paper clinging to the side because of winter’s static electricity. It had not come out with the chocolates.

It was a Numismatic News subscription return coupon with the handwritten notation, “I didn’t order – Don’t want.”

Of all the many ways I have seen in turning down our subscription offers, this has to be the most novel.

I thank the sender and wish him well.

At least I know from his action that he is not out of a job and short of money.

And like Forrest Gump I didn’t know what I was going to get.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."