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Love Letters

Love Letters

When I was a kid, there was nothing I loved more than Playmobil. Now that I’m an adult, there’s nothing I love more than Playmobil. Only when you’re an adult, it’s not called “playing with Playmobil,” it’s called “stress-Playmobiling,” which is what I found myself doing a couple of weeks ago. It’s so therapeutic that unpacking all the Playmobil I haven’t seen in twenty years wasn’t enough. I could be so much more therapized, I thought to myself. And one of the joys of adulthood is having a credit card. So I bought the most complicated set that currently exists. Here is a picture of pure joy:

 Playmobil website: “How old is the child receiving this gift? 1-3, 4-6, 7-11, 12+?” Me: “(12x3)-2 and I regret nothing!”

Playmobil website: “How old is the child receiving this gift? 1-3, 4-6, 7-11, 12+?” Me: “(12x3)-2 and I regret nothing!”

This is all background to explain why I had Playmobil on my mind when I was thinking up a Valentine’s Day post. I didn’t want to write about literary love stories or sonnets or any of the things that make people associate Valentine’s Day with barf. So I thought perhaps I would dig out the miniature correspondence of Joe and Myrah, which, as you will see, is both romantic and edifying.

I don’t have a picture of Myrah, but here’s one of Joe:

 Portrait by the writer as a youngish child.

Portrait by the writer as a youngish child.

Joe was an advancement on previous Playmobil figures – the first I’d ever seen with a potbelly, hairy chest, long hair, and an earring (evidently broken off by the time of this photo). It’s easy to see why a wealthy, educated lady of sophistication and elegant hats like Myrah C. Everglade would fall in love with him. Isn’t it? Maybe it’s because he looks a little like Elvis Presley. Her reasoning is not documented.

My cousin and I spent a couple of weeks one summer chucking letters from Joe and Myrah back and forth at each other. They mostly consist of the following: making plans to go sailing, making plans for dinner, mocking someone named Niles who seems to have been some sort of antagonist, and apologizing for transgressions lost to the mists of time. On the whole, they are actually not that interesting. But there are, I think, important tips here for pursuing a successful romantic relationship.

1. Be honest. If you want to have your beloved over for two reasons and one is that you need them to eat up some of your leftovers, go ahead and say so.

2. Be forgiving. One person’s abduction is another person’s thrilling date!

 Dear Joe, I had a wonderful time today, except for the little kidnapping thing. No big deal. MCE

Dear Joe, I had a wonderful time today, except for the little kidnapping thing. No big deal. MCE

3. Accept your beloved for who they are. Some things are just beyond some of us, especially if some of us are pirates and did not go to school.

 Dear Joe, If it really agonizes you so, don't write in cursive. It's a good skill to have, but if your heart isn't in it, don't do it. How about sailing tomorrow morn'? MCE

Dear Joe, If it really agonizes you so, don't write in cursive. It's a good skill to have, but if your heart isn't in it, don't do it. How about sailing tomorrow morn'? MCE

4. Offer compliments freely. Bonus points if they are puns.

5. Be supportive. If your beloved cherishes unsavory tendencies, don’t criticize; actively encourage!

 Dear Joe, I love your new car and I wouldn't mind if you killed Niles. Write back about tomorrow. No space now. CME

Dear Joe, I love your new car and I wouldn't mind if you killed Niles. Write back about tomorrow. No space now. CME

With these helpful tips in mind, I trust we will all go on to have a very happy Valentine's Day!

And I said,  “What's a crocus?"

And I said, “What's a crocus?"

East of the Sun

East of the Sun