Lovely Memories

Dear Optimists,

We always need to take a moment to recognize the special people in our lives. For me, one of the many is my aunt. The number of excellent memories I have thanks to her are astounding. As a kid, she would bring me to the mall once or twice a month just for fun. I always picked out a Smurf from the store, which made me the envy of every kid in the second grade. I had more Smurfs than anyone! She was the cool aunt who took us out for our birthday and let us pick ANYTHING we wanted in the store (with a price limit, of course!)

I would spend an hour in the comic shop, carefully planning up to the limit. Or in the Lego aisle in Kiddie City. It was awesome. And the best part? She let us keep the present that day! My mom would try to deny that and make us wait for our birthday, but my aunt wasn’t having it.

Last night, the same aunt took the fiancee and I out to dinner and it was just like old times. I reminded her of the many memories I had of similar situations and she smiled. She was so glad that I remembered so many of the wonderful things she did for me. And she was quite generous with us last night as well.

And where did we end up? In the Lego store buying one of the Christmas sets for under our tree, a tradition the fiancee and I are starting. Instead of a little village to go with the vintage train set I have, we’re creating a Lego Christmas scene.

Love,

Den

What Makes Den Happy?

Dear Optimists,

For those of you who don’t know, I actually obsess over some things besides Legos and Smurfs. What, you might ask?

Vintage photographs:

I have piles and piles of them. I even have a few stacks sitting next to my computer right now! I use them for inspiration when I have writer’s block. I just love sitting there and looking at one, noticing not just the people and their clothing, but small details in the background. The subtle look on their face. The discarded item to the side. Everything. And I just love imagining what it is they’re experiencing at that very moment.

I love doing this. Now you know.

Love,

Den

Smurfs Update


Dear Optimists,

Smurfs update. The gf and I went into a McD’s after a lovely night of looking at art and a delicious dinner, just to see if we could get any more of the Smurfs for my collection.

The kid working was either really nice or didn’t give a hoot, so he went into the back and brought out a giant box. “Root through and pick out the ones you need,” he said with a kind smile. We searched through and found one of each I was still missing. As we checked out I started to think about fate.

“You know,” I said to the gf. “You know what’s going to happen. We think we have the whole set, but there’s going to be one that we somehow missed.” She laughed and so did the kid.

When I got back home and looked through, I was missing Panicky Smurf. I jinxed myself.

But heck, at least now the quest is still on!

Love,
Den

Smurfs!

Dear Optimists,

I love Smurfs (as it states in my mini-bio) and if you’re in the United States you can’t escape the McDonald’s commercials that promote the Smurf toys. The only problem is that I don’t want the McD’s worker to know it’s for me.

Me: “Hi, can I see what Smurfs you have?”
McD’s Worker: Gives me a weird look.
Me: “Er…it’s for my girlfriend’s niece.”
McD’s Worker: “Hold on.” (In a frustrated tone.)
He comes back and I see that I already have the four he’s shown me.
Me: “Oh shoot I already have these. I mean she does.”

That really happened. Smooth, huh?

Love,
Den