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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentines Day Countdown... 3 days to go

The following is a re-post from last year. Hope you'll participate and comment.

Valentines Day is in 4 days. I thought I would do a little countdown and share some of my past Valentines Days. I'm hoping you will share your stories as well.

My first Valentines Day story comes from the 4th Grade. It was the 60's. It was common for many of our craft projects to start off with a cigar box. I think today, shoe boxes are more the norm because cigar boxes are so difficult to come by. We were decorating our boxes to hold the valentines that our classmates would be giving us. We had construction paper, paper doilies, glitter, colored markers and felt to work with. I worked diligently on my box. I thought my final product was quite artfully done.

Even as I worked on the box, in the back of my mind I wavered between being excited at the prospect of having a box filled with valentines from my classmates and having my box empty. You see I was not one of the popular kids in my class. I was the big kid, the overweight kid. For years I was teased constantly. The reason I wavered between a filled box and an empty box was because I thought it was common decency to give valentines to all of your classmates. That's what my Mother taught me and that's what I have always taught my children. Even though I didn't want to give valentines to the boys that teased me and called me names, I did.

Valentines Day came and we all displayed our boxes. The teacher took all the cards and placed them in the boxes. Excitement was in the air. When it came time to open our boxes, I opened mine slowly, not even completely. I saw inside a single card and a heart sucker. I closed the box and put it away until I got home. Everyone else was full of excitement and laughter. Many were showing off how many cards and candies they got. I kind of just sat there with a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach from the anger building inside me. I didn't let it show. I kind of sat there disinterested and prayed for the bell to ring to mark the end of the school day.

I got home and read the handmade card. It was from my teacher, Ms. Svacina. The card said that "beauty is on the inside and you don't need 30 valentines to know that you are special. You are very special."

In the years after that Valentines Day I had spent many alone. Somehow the memory of that 4th grade Valentines day made being alone seem not so bad. Looking back I realize that Ms. Svacina was trying to buffer the blow of that empty box. Part of me felt very special, because none of the other children got a handmade card from the teacher. The bigger part of me though, felt like a pathetic loser.

So now it's your turn. Use the comment section to post your Pathetic Valentines Day from the past.
Please, don't make me feel like I'm the only one with a pathetic Valentines Day in their past!

Lola's Diner


Lin said...

Oh gees, Lola, that makes me sad. I was always on the fringe of the popular crowd--never really going along with their schemes and a little too "out there" to really fit in. I got Valentines, but I don't remember if it was a lot--I wouldn't think so.

Now my son was/is more like you. He thinks very differently than his peers and he is the one with the empty box which breaks my heart. The most popular girl gave him a Valentine in the 3rd grade (when all the bullying started under the care of a really sucky teacher) that read "If Valentines were boogers, I'd pick you". Nice, eh. I guess she thinks she was being nice to him by even giving him one. I couldn't believe a parent would buy Valentines that would read like that.

In other words, you aren't alone my friend.

Lola said...

@ Lin - My kids are telling me that they aren't celebrating Valentines Day at their schools. Maybe that's a good thing considering how cruel some kids can be.

StaceyC4 said...

That story made me cry!! Dang it! Every Valentine's Day my mom would wake us up with something special on the foot of our beds - stuffed animals, candy, etc. As I got older, they stopped. But I think the Valentine's Day that sticks out the most to me was when I was a senior in high school. I had just gotten dumped by my boyfriend and after school I walked out to the parking lot to my car and found a rose on the windshield. It was from my dad. No card - but I found out later it was from him. That was when he used to be nice.

I am Harriet said...

I'm thinkin' of taking the year off. Unless you wanna send me some chocolate or pistachios.

ps. Word verification says "bless". Hope I get it right

Lola said...

@ StaceyC4 - I'm sorry. Every year I think of that 4th grade Valentines. I usually get my kids a little something too because they seem to get all caught up in it. They love playing the "I know what you're getting for Valentines Day" bit (said in a sing-song way).

@ Harriet - You can always send me some pistaschios or chocolate.

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