notes and cards
Noel Brinkerhoff, Eagle

I’ve been dating my girlfriend, Shelly, for just over five months. The only one as happy as me over this romantic development is Hallmark.

Shelly has a knack for buying and giving greeting cards to me. I tallied them up last weekend.

I have a teetering stack of 38 cards to date.

She’s also fond of leaving me forget-me-not notes in my stuff. The tally on those is 27, and counting.

Shelly started out with the notes. I came home one weekend in November from San Francisco, where she lives, and found a blue post-it note attached to my shaving cream.

“I love you. Just in case you forget” (smiley face)

She did this a couple more weekends, leaving a single tiny note in my toiletry kit each time.

Then, she graduated to larger, purple-colored sticky notes, which she would hide somewhere in my overnight bag.

The notes revealed not only her sentimental side, but also her sense of humor.

“You’re my most favorite-est boyfriend in the whole universe. (plus you’re my only!)”

After that the greeting cards started coming in the mail. One here, two there. Come Christmas time I got seven holiday cards.

Shelly has a way of finding the best that greeting cards have to offer, those that reveal her sharp wit, like this one:

Front of card: “Four out of five people get money in their Christmas cards.”

Inside of card: “Merry Christmas, #5.”

January often is a time when people slow down with their retail purchases after the holidays. Not Shelly, not when it comes to hitting the greeting cards section of CVS and Target.

One card featuring words outlined in pink glitter went something like this:

Front of card: “You’re the sugar in my tea. The pumpkin in my pie. The hot dog in my bun.”

Inside of card: “Wow. That escalated quickly.”

For Valentine’s Day, I got six cards in the mail, all the same day, all individually mailed. One read …

Front of card (with Irish green backdrop): “This is not a St. Patrick’s Day card.”

Inside of card: “It’s a moldy valentine. But I thought you should have it anyway.”

A more traditional looking Valentine’s Day card went something like this:

Front of card: “I love you.”

Inside of card: “But don’t get too comfortable with the situation, because sometimes love fades. So keep trying to impress me, okay? Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I got No. 38 last weekend. It was an Easter card with a white fluffy rabbit devouring a chocolate bunny with cannibalistic guilt.

Front of card: “This is sooo wrong! But I can’t help myself.”

Inside of card: “Resistance is futile. Enjoy your Easter.”

As you can probably tell, I’ve kept every single card and note Shelly has given me. I keep them in a special box ... which Shelly also gave me.

The collection includes the very first card, which is special beyond its inaugural quality.

It turned out to be something of a fortune teller, this first card. Shelly purchased it long before we started dating, with the hope “that within a year I’d have someone special in my life … and now there’s you,” she wrote.

I am a very lucky man for many reasons, one of which is being the recipient of 27 notes, 38 cards and nothing but love.