If you’re like me (read: OLD, according to my 14-year-old son) you probably have fond childhood memories of exchanging Valentine cards.
Not the REALLY old Victorian ones (I said I was old but not that ancient) but more like the brightly colored cardboard notes festooned with a quirky saying or a gentle pun, usually tied in with your favorite TV show at the time (mine was the Brady Bunch) and occasionally accompanied by those most coveted of February candies….
…the candy hearts.Be mine!
But you had to be CAREFUL as to WHICH one to choose for each individual classmate in your third grade. I mean, you couldn’t POSSIBLY give a “KISS ME” heart to that boy you’d had your eye on since kindergarten! That boy who despite your soulful eyes boring into the back of his curl-adorned head never noticed you and instead fancied that stinky OTHER girl….
I mean, he was not really worthy of a kiss, candy or otherwise, was he?
No, he’d get something more snarky. Perhaps “NO WAY” was something more fitting for this elementary school Romeo.
Remember the angst of being sure to include absolutely everybody in your class, making sure to not leave anybody out, and then scrawling each individual’s name on the miniscule paper?
Old School Love
Even the kids you hated?
But scribble you did and then (at least in my school) came the dreaded day of the Valentine party, replete with too-much-candy and rife with anticipation.
For in the center of the room sat…
The box that contained everybody’s Valentine. The box that held that snarky candy attachment on that card you so reluctantly scrawled to that undeserving boy. And so many more.
Our teacher would then, with the flourish of a game show host, extract, one-by-agonizing-one, each tiny white envelope (essentially we had to write those damn kids’ names TWICE!) and call the student to come receive his or her special sentiment.
The anticipation was DREADFUL.
Would I get as many as my best friend?
…as many as SOPHIE (yes, I said your name after 40-plus years!)?
SOPHIE who was the object of your greatest envy?
SOPHIE who stole that curly haired boy’s heart and left yours to wither on the vine amidst the sea of construction paper and candy wrappers?
Okay, after gathering myself together, let me get to the point of this post.
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to celebrate fertilty, affection, romance, tenderness, and…
It can be demonstrated in many forms, from roses, to fancy dinners, to a box of chocolates, to a night on the town, to a simple note left on the fridge.
But on this most obvious of holidays devoted purely to this complicated emotion, I think I’ll stick to science to demonstrate my affection to my sweetie.
I’m Sagan All My Love for You!
It’s much safer than candy hearts.
“Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
—Alfred Lord Tennyson
photos courtesy Stephanie Berghaeser, Ironic Sans, and Fable Folk.