In honor of Korra’s return tomorrow, I’m posting a letter I wrote to the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra prior to my wedding earlier this year. The letter was never sent anywhere, because I was too lazy to figure out where to send it. Writing it and showing it to my husband was more significant than anything else at the time. Now I’ll share it with you.
Dear Brian Konietzko and Michael Dimartino,
While I know that this is just one more letter, it still meant something to me that it be written. I wanted to say Thank You.
I started watching Aang’s story when it premiered during my junior year of high school. I’m not sure how I saw the original ad, but I’m glad my high school self was secretly watching Nick at the time. Being 16, my friends and I were thoroughly “too grown-up” for Nickelodeon, so I never talked about this new show that had drawn me in. I stayed hooked. By the time season 3 came out, I would run off to the store between college classes and buy the DVD’s to see the episodes before they aired.
Still I had no one with whom to talk to about it. Though quality writing deserves discussion, I was happy to experience it at all. I knew I’d found something special. Then, in the spring of 2012, it helped me find someone special: Matt.
I’d grown up a bit, and by my twenties I felt no shame in my excitement over the upcoming Korra series. I’m not sure how the conversation started. Maybe I slipped her into a random conversation because I couldn’t resist talking about this thing that had me so excited, or maybe we were just talking about our favorite kids shows. But as soon as I mentioned Avatar, I saw Matt’s eyes double in size. We’d both finally found someone with whom we could share it.
Since we worked at the same place, we would occasionally IM each other, saying what news we heard about the show, and once The Legend of Korra aired, sharing our own theories. We both found ourselves looking forwarded to Mondays, because we could finally discuss that weekend’s episode. Our coworkers made fun of the things they heard, most of which sounded ridiculous to them. Admittedly, “I don’t trust the guy in the mask” was a pretty odd thing to say.
That did not, however, stop our coworkers from jumping on the “bending” wagon, dubbing themselves Potato Benders, Booze Benders, Music Benders, and granting themselves all sorts of other amusing skills.
In case it wasn’t apparent, we kept talking. Pretty soon we didn’t need Korra to start a conversation for us.
This thank you, then, is not only for creating a world where lessons are real and even the greatest of both sides live in the gray. It’s not only for giving a couple of adults a good mental retreat. It’s a thank you for creating the thing that helped us realize that the person we were meant to spend our lives with was only 10 feet away, 40 hours a week.
I’ll be wearing a necklace inspired by Katara’s as I walk down the aisle this Spring. And the best part? For years, I didn’t have anyone to share in this thing I loved, but on my wedding day, the reference will be something that only the man I love and I understand.
And that, most definitely, is worth a thank you.