Dear Stay Puft Marshmallow Man,
Well, we had a nice run this year, didn’t we? For the last 26 days, you have graced our tiny front yard with your humongous presence. I know that not everyone in this gang was on board with you, and I’m sure you were tentative about coming here because of my wife Sarah’s well-known reputation within your community of decorative yard inflatables. Her hatred of your kind is well-chronicled.
It began some years ago with some snooty comments any time we would pass by other yards filled with your people. “Those are so tacky,” she would say. “I just don’t understand what possesses people to put up those stupid inflatables in their yards.” I was troubled by these comments and thought, maybe, that if she had a yard inflatable of her own, she would come to accept you. I could not have been more wrong.
In fact, those comments escalated to outright aggression when my father and I elected to welcome Bob, Carl and Dave to the family last year to help us celebrate Christmas.
Despite the fact that neither Bob, nor Carl, nor Dave ever did a thing to Sarah, snide comments turned to offensive gestures when she flipped them off on arriving home and discovering their presence. The mean-spirited comments, stern eye contact and outright hatred being spewed towards Bob, Carl and Dave during that time was a real black eye on what is supposed to be a season of joy and thanksgiving.
That brought us to October 2016. I thought that almost a year of introspection and reflection would have produced a kinder, gentler Sarah. A Sarah who judges based on character rather than appearance or the fact that one happens to be a yard inflatable. It would appear, initially, that Sarah had not moved past her hatred, however, as I sensed a little bit of resistance from her when she met you for the first time:
The pain you felt at Sarah not accepting you was as transparent as your beautiful, marshmallowy skin. You showed a consistent refusal to stand erect requiring almost nightly tinkering, but also allowing me to amuse myself in setting a new record for using the word “erect” in a 26-day period.
You even tried to make a run for it one particularly windy night when I received a frantic message from a neighbor that you had attempted to roll into the street. Those were dark days for you, and I can only begin to imagine what you must have been going through.
But despite these early setbacks, you came around. You took the high road and, on Halloween night when it counted most, you stood tall in 13-feet of inflatable glory.
And you know what? I think it may have worked. To say that Sarah has welcomed you with open arms, I think, is a stretch. But I believe we are moving in the right direction. In time, I’m confident that she’ll come around. I’m confident that over the next 300 or so days, as you lie deflated and stuffed into a tiny white garbage bag, she will continue to grow and that maybe, just maybe, she’ll love you as much as we all do.
Until next time, Marshmallow Man. It has truly been a pleasure.