Love & Life in downtown LA

-- Download Love & Life in downtown LA as PDF --

I ONCE started a puzzle group on Facebook for puzzle enthusiasts. It went something like this:

We Love Working On Puzzles, Even If There Is One Piece Missing

Have you spent hours and hours working on a puzzle, only to learn that there is no chance in its completion because of a missing piece? We have, yet we don’t care. We will continue to work on puzzles regardless of the outcome, even if it means lying about our whereabouts on a Friday night, even if it means skipping meals, even when there is no guarantee of a finish. We appreciate puzzles for what they are—a distraction, a mindless activity, a replacement for conversation on dates, something to do while watching TV, and the list goes on.

If you are a puzzle enthusiast, this group is for you. If you don’t own puzzles but secretly want to, this group is for you. If you know someone who once knew someone else who had a puzzle once, join us. You will not be judged here. We believe there is strength in numbers.

I am proud to say this puzzle group is now fifty members strong. I am not proud to say, however, that this fan base has almost surpassed that of my web site and consequently, all “ is #1” foam fingers were destroyed in a fit of rage. Since then, rest assured, I have collected myself. I have put my pride aside to create a “Missing Puzzle Piece Crisis” flow chart for other missing piece sufferers, based on my own experience—may it bring solace to anyone in need.

What to do when you’ve gotten to the end of a 1000+ puzzle, only to find you haven’t gotten to the end at all:

1. Curse loudly. This might automatically happen when you get down to the last five puzzle pieces and become speculative of a missing piece. As this realization settles in, don’t hold back. It is best to begin the acceptance process as soon as possible.

2. Don’t panic and start looking around. Check underneath tables and couches. Inspect vacuum bags. If you’re a pet owner, look into the eyes of your beloved—their shit may hold the answers.

3. Go ahead and finish as much as the puzzle as possible. You owe it to yourself. You’ve spent hours, days and even months trying to finish this thing.

4. Curse again, louder this time. It doesn’t help in finding the piece, but it feels good.

5. Call your friends and enemies to make sure they’re not holding any pieces hostage. Believe it or not, some people find laughter in cruel behavior. Sickos is what I like to call people of this character.

6. Let a few days pass. The piece may just show up on its own (stranger things have happened).

7. Talk about the missing piece. It’s not healthy to hold in such aggression.

8. Share your misfortune. You can join WLWOPEITIOPM’s group and follow fellow honary member Adrienne’s example. She put a piece of white paper where the missing puzzle piece should have been in order to highlight its non-existence. She then took a picture and posted it on the group’s page.

The Unfinished Dali

The Unfinished Dali

9. Wait for it. People will start empathizing in no time.

10. Tear the puzzle apart, but only when you feel comfortable to do so. Wait at least 5 days because immediate action is often regrettable. I found a missing piece to one of my puzzles in a deep dark crevice weeks after I tore it a part … the only thing more frustrating than missing one puzzle piece is finding it after you have destroyed the puzzle into its original thousand pieces. This I assure you.

11. Buy a new puzzle and try again. If you’re a true addict, quitting is not an option for you—missing piece or not. Lucky for you, you now have a flow chart to follow, which should ease the recovery process.

Don’t let puzzles get the best of you, join our cause: We Love Working On Puzzles, Even If One Piece Is Missing.