Monday, February 9, 2009

Cupid--You've gotta love him

Have you been to Hallmark lately? If so, then you’ve seen the assortment of Valentine’s Day cards that you now have to select from--lover, mother, friend, daughter, daughter-in-law, daughter and her husband, husband, man that I love, man I wish I didn’t love, wife, wonderful husband, lazy husband, old couples, new couples, troubled relationship, and even cards to and from your cat.

I’m not really big on Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, it’s been just a day that makes me feel bad. I think it dates back to middle and high school when it was nothing but a big competition. Names were called over the intercom at the end of the day for girls who received roses. If you didn’t, you were humiliated. Sort of like “The Bachelor,” except being on that show is humiliating enough.

Timing was everything around Valentine’s. You needed a boyfriend--any boy would do-- and you needed to keep him until after Valentine’s. Very tricky because there were a few cheap boys who would break up with their girlfriends right before Valentine’s just so they wouldn’t have to send them flowers. How do I know? Because I know--just take my word for it.

Anyway, in that case, you needed a back up plan. If your parents had money, and you were willing to be teased a little at home, you would ask them to send you flowers. Of course, you’d have to plead with them not to put their names on it. I was able to talk mine into it my junior year. Another option would be to find a friend and pledge to send each other flowers anonymously. Thinking about it now, I guess one could have sent them to oneself, but how sad is that?

For me, Valentine’s Day was all downhill after eighth grade. I had a boyfriend. I don’t remember talking to him much, but he was very good in shop class and would always sand my projects for me. On V Day, my name was called, and I had three pink roses waiting on me. It was the first time I had ever gotten any, and it was a big deal. I was proudly holding them in my lap on the bus ride home when the boy I had a big crush on said, “I can do that.”

I wasn’t sure who he was talking to, or what he was talking about, so I didn’t respond. The next day my name was called over the intercom. Waiting for me were half a dozen red roses with his name on it, AND when he got off the bus, he left a brown paper bag on my seat. Inside held a box of chocolate that played music and a card. I kept those for the longest time. In fact, I may still have them in the attic.

You know, the more I think of it, Valentine’s isn’t such a bad holiday after all. And if you haven’t gotten your (fill in the blank) a card yet, go now and get one. Hallmark leaves you without an excuse not to, and chances are she’ll remember it for a long time.

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