I try to be a good man. I work hard, I pay my bills on time, I’m a productive member of society. I earned my success at a high-powered, unspecified business and I don’t think I should have to apologize for it. You always said that you liked that about me. So honestly, Allie, I think you can understand my surprise here.

I respect your career as a big-city junior reporter trying to get a big promotion by breaking a story that ironically unfolds in the picturesque small town of Kringleton where you grew up and haven’t returned to in ten years. The whole thing seemed kind of weirdly coincidental, but who am I to stand in the way of your dreams?

And look, I’m not a saint. Was I was a little pissed off that you bailed on our surprise trip to Bali to chase a human-interest story that would inexplicably springboard you to features editor? The day after I proposed to you in that fancy French restaurant? Of course I was. Does that make me a bad person? Honestly, I don’t think so! That was fucking inconsiderate, Allie.

Honestly, you just really blindsided me on this one. When you called me on your big-city iPhone in the middle of a snowy gazeebo you said that you hated Kringleton, and the incessant good cheer of the folksy, warm-hearted locals was making you crazy. I was patient when you said that you just needed a few more days to get the scoop on the identity of the mysterious stranger who delivers candy canes to the local retirement home, and also reconnect with your emotionally closed-off father, haunted by the death of your mother on a long-ago Christmas Eve. That's a super-sad story, and I would have liked to know about it. I care about family!

I didn’t know that a first date at a nice sushi restaurant was inferior to slipping on ice in your designer heels and literally falling into the arms of your high school boyfriend who gave up his football scholarship to care for his ailing and beloved grandfather and shamed you for going off to Harvard to chase your professional dreams.

And I’m so sorry that I don’t have a dead wife and a plucky child who speaks like a 35-year-old and has lost her belief in Santa Claus. I didn’t know that was a requirement to date you when you swiped right on Bumble. You’re the one who swiped, Allie! In not one of my photos was I wearing a cozy plaid shirt and puffy vest, smiling with a sadness deep within my eyes. I never lied about who I was. I went to Yale and I like sushi. So sue me.

Apparently I needed to inherit a Christmas tree farm from my beloved grandfather that’s in danger of being bought out by a one-dimensional real estate developer to build condos that it sounds like this town desperately needs. It sounds like a legitimate business deal and I don’t see why the real estate conglomerate should terminate their perfectly understandable purchase of the land just because someone’s sassy grandmother made him promise to never sell the family legacy.

And you know, Allie, you could have told me that your most cherished wish was to own a little bakery that only sells artisanal cupcakes. I call bullshit that you didn’t realize that until “Chad” or whatever the fuck his name is asked you in that snowy forest what happened to the girl he knew from high school, the girl who loved Kringleton and was always there for everyone. I love cupcakes too, but you never asked, Allie.

I mean, it’s really adorable that you cracked open the story that the mysterious candy cane man was a reformed elderly grump who was doing good deeds to atone for leaving his family years ago and just wanted to be reunited with them for Christmas. What a groundbreaking piece of journalism. I’m sure the New York Times will be all over that one.

Good luck being a stepmother to a child haunted by the death of the mother you’ll never live up to. Enjoy spending all of your time with middle-aged inn owners who speak only in platitudes and folksy wisdom. And I’m sure things will work out with Chad. Three days of making snowmen and eating nothing but Christmas cookies is a great foundation for a lasting relationship. Really rooting for you.

Merry fucking Christmas, Allie. I want the ring back.

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