For the critics, it’s graffiti. But for the romantics, it’s art in the form of mailbox love.
“There is a love affair in our neighborhood,” wrote Jasmine Cann on BeatofTravel.com, the blog she and her husband, Derek Cann, created. “It is not your typical romance, but it is simple yet messy, the way most romances tend to be. The star-crossed lovers are … well, they are a pair of U.S. postal mailboxes.”
The love affair takes place in Denver, Colo., and began in December 2010 with the first messages—the eyelash-clad blue mailbox gazing at the larger green mailbox with a smile and the message, “[heart] u” painted in white. The green mailbox smiled back with the message, “[heart] u too.”
It was too perfect. The mailboxes are even leaning toward each other, just barely touching. Passersby were charmed, but the city was less amused.
One day, when Jasmine walked by the beloved mailboxes situated just a few blocks from her home, she immediately noticed that something was wrong.
“Someone had painted over my cheery metal twosome and I was upset,” she wrote. “Why would anybody want to paint over something as inoffensive as a humorous display of love?”
The Canns soon discovered that it was city officials who had painted over the love messages, or, in their eyes, graffiti. But a week later, the postal receptacles were smiling again, this time with the messages “Missed u” and “Missed u too” painted on.
“It was inspired. Derek and I were delighted,” Cann wrote. “The Mailbox Love Bandit had struck again.”
And so the battle has continued over the past few months, back and forth, with neither side deterred. The city paints over the mailboxes and, every time, the messages come back. Others have included “I’m here” and “I’m here too!” as well as “They can never” and “Tear us apart” painted on with hearts.
“For us, it’s graffiti, and if we see it, we’re going to call the maintenance guys to come paint over it,” said Chris Stroup, station manager for the Capitol Hill U.S. Postal Service office, according to the Denver Post.
The Canns hope the anonymous artist will persist and keep the romance alive.
“I am enthralled by love, art, and humor,” Jasmine Cann wrote. “Bring it on Mailbox Love Bandit the public needs as much humanity and funny as possible.”