About a month ago, I came into the office to my usual stack of mail — stamped envelopes containing press releases, catalogs from publishing companies, thick folders of publicity materials from the Watermelon Board (yes, really).
And placed neatly on top, a stationary-style envelope, sealed with a pretty purple butterfly sticker.
Having been the recipient of my fair share of hate mail, I admit I was a bit apprehensive. My mind immediately went to a holiday card I received once, a lovely picture of a cardinal perched in the center of the O in a glittery embossed “JOY” on the front. Inside, a not-so-lovely note telling me I was going to die alone, before then descending into hell, because of my insistence on loving my dogs like children and using a swear word every now and again, Merry Christmas.
Happily, my worry was unfounded, and instead I discovered a wonderful — handwritten on personalized paper, mind you — letter from a woman named Mary, thanking me for introducing her to Judy Blume, and allowing her to share the author’s books with a young female member of her family.
It sincerely made my day.
Not only because someone took the time to sit down and share something kind. Though, of course, that felt great.
But also because any opportunity I have to extol the talents of Judy Blume — nevermind convince a newbie — is a life bonus.
My love of Blume has been well-documented in this space — from my life-changing fourth-grade obsession with “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret?,” to a mortifying meeting with my male fifth-grade English teacher over the “mature language” in “Forever,” to my obsession with “Tiger Eyes” which lasts to this day.
With a little “Deenie,” “Starring Sally J. Friedman As Herself,” It’s Not the End of the World,” “Superfudge,” “Blubber,” “Summer Sisters,” “Otherwise Known as Shiela the Great” thrown in — to name a few.
After all, there is no such thing as bad Blume.
As if Mary’s letter wasn’t gift enough, though, the universe bestowed even more Blume blessings, when the genius herself surfaced in the last week, asking her fans to weigh in on a very, very important question:
“So,” the author queried on her Twitter account, “which of my books, kids and/or adult would you want to see adapted for series or movie? I ask because I’m in LA meeting with many talented people. I think the time has come.”
Oh. My. God(areyouthereit’smeMargaret).
I mean, how does one even begin to answer that question, when the wealth of material is so vast and so awesome?
As one might imagine, the internet definitely had its opinions, with fans tweeting (aka begging) for their own personal favorites.
Honestly, I’d be happy with any, or, preferably, all of them.
But if pressed, I’d cast my vote for “Margaret,” which, at the tender, curious, impressionable and oh-so-confused age of 10, felt as personal as a handwritten letter.
So, thanks, Mary, for writing to me.
And thank you, Judy Blume, for doing the same. (Now, please, go get crackin’ on that script.)
Katie McDowell is a lifestyles writer/copy editor for The Dominion Post. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.