It’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day approaches. And much like the beguiling odors which fill the air around our downtown rubber factory, romance is a fume which floods the Chippewa Valley with intrigue and the lingering scent of danger.

But whom yearns for whom, one might ask? Whom is writing passionate scribbles of lust and for whom are these passionate scribbles scribbled?

Peruse with me now the hypothetical love letters locals have hypothetically inscribed for other locals …

TO: Vacant Storefronts

FROM: New Tattoo Parlors

My sweet, sweet, rental space! I know thine windows were once filled with confusing, overpriced knickknacks, and before that, thine heart (and the rest of you) was filled with an American Family Insurance office … but listen to me now! I can fill that void, fill the yawning space left by the failed signatories of your past rental agreements. My success is all but guaranteed. No one else can tattoo a butterfly as I can! And also, I can afford any security deposit thine heart desires because my dad is helping!

TO: Sacred Heart Hospital

FROM: OakLeaf Medical Network

You’re a handsome lady, Sacred Heart, so tall and so square. Would you do me the honor? Would you allow a young whippersnapper like me the chance to dance with a more mature partner? Oh, what care we could provide together! Such wellness!

TO: Them Coulee Boys

FROM: Every Open Stage, Music Venue, and Festival in the Area, It Seems

Well hey there, boys. How’s about you and your hundreds of actively engaged fans who actually leave the house after 9pm stop on down to my place for a little one-nighter? I got beer.

TO: Murals

FROM: The Unadorned Walls of Eau Claire

Hey, so, I just think you’re really cool, OK? I know I’m kind of, like, plain and all, but I’m sturdy. I really stand for something, you know? And if we could be together, I know a lot of people would just stare at us, or whatever, but is that so bad?

TO: Pickleball Courts

FROM: Pretty Much Everyone

I want you. And I will have you.

TO: New Pizza Restaurants

FROM: Pretty Much Everyone

I want you. And I will have you.

TO: 5-Over-1 Apartment Buildings

FROM: Pretty Much Every Developer

I want you. And I will have you.

TO: Snow

FROM: True Wisconsinites

Hey, I’m sorry. Really, really sorry. I don’t even know what I did, but I’m sorry, OK? Please come back. Whatever I did, I didn’t mean it. I really do love you, and you can’t just throw away the investment we’ve made. Do you even remember how much my snowboard cost? I do. It was $1,200. What about those new boots that match my snow pants and my jacket? And the friggin’ snowmobile!? Not cheap. (But for real, I miss you. Please be cool about this.)

TO: Camp Manitou

FROM: Nostalgic Old-Timers

How long’s it been, Manny? A hundred years? That’s a long time to spend being so wonderful. And I still love you, ya’ old fuddy-duddy. XOXO

TO: Costco

FROM: People Who Love Rotisserie Chicken

I honestly can’t remember what my life was like before you moved to town and changed my whole world. Yeah, I’d been in relationships with other stores and other heated display racks of tender, savory poultry. But not like you. No, not like you, my little five-dollar bundle of juicy joy. Even the kids are excited to see you. Please don’t ever leave us, Costco Rotisserie Chicken. We’d be lost without you.

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