Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day, Love Day, Candy Day, Forget the Diet Day, Spend Money on Chocolate Day. It has many names.

When I was a child we made valentine's cards to hand out at school. We would make our own cards and draw or write on them and put someones name on it. If we got lucky our mom would buy the pre-made box of cards that I could rummage through to see which one was just right for that "special" someone, then my best friends, then friends, then the other people in my class until I ran out of cards. Usually by the time I had picked the cards for my special valentine and best friends I didn't care what the other ones said or looked like, I just scribbled my name on them and was done.

In the younger grades we were assigned to make a Valentine mail box as part of our art homework so we could have our cards delivered to our desks. You could always tell who had their mom make the box for them. They were beautiful and perfect, everything straight, perfect amount of glitter. Then there were the ones who actually made them by themselves. Usually looked like a left over Valentine pile of rubbish glued randomly to a box with way too much glitter or things sticking out in various directions. Making you afraid to drop the Valentine in the box wondering if there was something in there that might bite you.

We would all put our boxes on our desks, gather our cards, and go to the back or sides of the class. Then the teacher would say "on your mark, get ready, go!" There would be a mad rush of kids bumping into things, screaming, running to see who would get all of theirs delivered first so they could see what their own box would reveal when they were done.

There was always an admirer (or two-wink) that I hoped to receive a card from. It was just another popularity contest if you ask me. But when you are a kid it means the world to see if that "someone" gives you a card that might let on that they share the same feelings.

Then the moment arrives. The moment of truth... I dig through my valentines to see if I got one from him....There it is!  I look around to make sure no one is looking. I smell it. I open it slowly, thousands of scenarios running through my head. Will it be so lovely? Will it say how much he adores me? I open it. WHAT!? It's a monster truck. It says "hope you have a smashing day". UGH... Smashing all right. My heart is smashed. I am no longer interested in the rest of the cards. I just want to lay my head down and cry. The good thing about childhood crushes is that they are usually short lived. You are durable and can move on quickly.

My best friend would come over and cheer me up by finding her valentine and placing it in my hand. It is shiny, covered in glitter just for me. She knows how much I LOVE glitter. It is a Lisa Frank valentine and it has two very colorful girls skipping together. It says "To my most colorful best friend, Happy Valentine's Day". It had a piece of chocolate attached to it. She cheered me up and I forgot all about "him".

As an adult Valentine's day is not about flowers, candy and gifts. It's about LOVE. I share my love with the people in my life that are important to me not just one day a year but everyday. That makes everyday Valentine's day.

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