Be my Valentine? February 10, 2013
This was the year that I fell in love with Valentine’s Day. That’s me circa 1989 in my 3rd grade yearbook. Well, I guess it would have been 1990 by February. Don’t hate on my awesomeness. I couldn’t help it that I was so cool. I mean, I just had my ears pierced. Thankfully I grew into those teeth.
My classmates and I stapled together two paper plates and taped them to the front of our desks to make little mailboxes. I thought mine turned out pretty good with my name in marker and pink and red hearts. To the envy of my girlfriends I added an extra flair with polka-dots.
The rule was you had to bring a valentine for everyone in the class. We counted up our little cards. Many had the smiling faces of Scooby Doo or Ghostbusters. The kid with the lollipops attached to his cards got extra kudos from the 3rd grade crowd. My friend Erica brought the house down with New Kids On The Block valentines. I mean, they had a song called “Valentine Girl.” It was only fitting.
I found an extra card between my paper plates. I was delighted to open a Garfield valentine. When I turned it over my stomach did this flutter thing I hadn’t felt before. The card wasn’t signed. It had nothing but a heart drawn in pencil with an arrow through it. There were a few eraser marks, as if someone had taken great care drawing it. I double checked the name on the envelope. Yep, it was my name.
I looked around before asking my teacher, Miss Crabtree, to find out who was the admirer with the Garfield valentines. When Miss Crabree held up my card and asked who gave them out, Josh looked sheepish and said, “I did.” He caught my eye and we smiled. I looked away and my stomach did that thing again.
Josh was the cutest boy in the class and he sent ME a secret admirer valentine. My little life at that moment was complete. Little did I know, that card would start an on and off again elementary school love affair that would continue for the rest of third grade.
I got that same flutter when my husband gave me a Godiva satin heart on Valentine’s Day 2004 when we were dating. He promised to fill it up with truffles every year for the rest of our lives.
I made these valentines for Charlotte’s class celebration this week. This is the first Valentine’s exchange she has ever done. I hope the start of this little tradition in her childhood one day leads to paper plate mailboxes and pencil-drawn hearts from admirers.