A Valentine’s Tale

Valentine’s Day 2014 is but a memory now — but it’s not quite time to bid it farewell yet. First I’ve got an anecdote I can’t not share. It has everything: Celebrities! Romance! Tacos! Embarrassment! And of course, Valentine’s Day cards.

It all starts with Lauren and Joel Gryniewski, who TPC readers may recall from Friday Funnies as the creators behind the brilliant card line Old Tom Foolery as well as more recently, Modern Lore. (Note: As of 2022, these brands are part of the raucous Mincing Mockingbird family.)

Late last year they also opened a store in Minneapolis, Greater Goods. Located in the popular Eat Street neighborhood, the cozy shop  features cards and gifts from around the world. They also donate a portion of proceeds back to the community.

Our tale begins a week ago Sunday, when Lauren was working up front and Joel in the back. “My wife had called me up for a completely separate thing,” Joel remembered. “She was distracted by some other things going on in the store.”

Meanwhile, a woman was at the register, ready to be checked out, Joel recalled. “I looked at her and was like, ‘I definitely know who that is.’ (So I asked), ‘Are you Jessica Alba?’ As soon as it came out of my mouth I was like, ‘Oh, no.’”

The woman replied, rather graciously, “No, I get that a lot, but I’m Jessica Biel.”

“I just wanted to crawl under a rock,” Joel said. “We talked for a little bit, and then I went in the back and just slapped myself in the face. I totally blew it. Such an idiot!”

I actually prefer this ending — frankly, there is enough fawning over celebrities! This is true tom foolery at its best, and it looks like she pretty much laughed it off anyway.

Meanwhile, this unexpected brush with fame has garnered Lauren & Joel some welcome local press. Best of all, added Joel, “You can imagine how excited Lauren is to know she’s only two degrees of separation from the man who brought sexy back.”

Speaking of JT, the big question is, what cards did he receive on Valentine’s Day? I am happy to report that Mrs. Timberlake has an excellent sense of humor, purchasing Old Tom Foolery’s “unsappy, uncrappy” Footnotes collection. They are blank and letterpressed — and make an amorous yet witty impression any day of the year. $4.50. The bottom one really speaks to Mr. Smooth’s culinary tastes — apparently he is a big Taco Bell fan.

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