Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. You come home from a hard day’s work, and find your husband, as always, in his office, working at his computer. You stand in the office doorway, exchange greetings, and start talking about your days. As you lean on it, the door slowly opens, revealing the rest of the room, and you see what is lying on the bed in the office. Your husband has not mentioned a single word to you beforehand about the object on the bed. Look at the photo below, think about what would go through your head, and then continue.
When I was visiting the US, I stopped by to see my high school chemistry teacher, who now lives down the street from my parents. Her son, who is my age, has a stepdaughter, named Kailyn, that is in elementary school. Kailyn’s elementary school class has just read Flat Stanley (disappointingly unrelated to Flatland), a children’s book about an unfortunate young lad who has a bulletin board fall on top of him and becomes flattened. Stanley then goes on to have adventures that only a two dimensional young child can have. As a project to go along with the book, Kailyn’s class made 2D replicas of themselves and sent them off to faraway lands. To Kailyn, sending her replica to her stepfather’s mother’s house, in North Carolina, seemed like a faraway place.
Somehow the idea came up that it would be cool if I could take Flat Kailyn all the way to Spain with me, take some photos of Spanish things, and send her back (she fits, folded, in a manila envelope). And just yesterday, I pulled her out of her envelope to remind me to do, um, something with her soon.
Frankly, I’m a little disappointed that sending something to faraway places to be photographed was not a completely unique idea. With any luck, I’ll be a big part in making some little girl the envy of her entire class.
But no matter what happens, it’s all been worth it just to see the look on my dear Marga’s face when she came home and caught me with a life-sized, two-dimensional, paper, finger-painted, blond woman in bed. Priceless.