Today is Valentine’s Day. Many people enjoy the day, especially the gentler, smarter sex. Others despise the day for all sorts of reasons. I’m fond of the special time it brought to my life.
Women love the day. It’s a time when their men, if they have walking around sense, shower them with gifts and praises. Flowers are always winners when they arrive at work places. Others see just how special the recipients are to loved ones, and there is no shortage of “oohs and aahs” from envious co-workers who wonder if they’ll be lucky enough to receive bouquets from their sweethearts. Cards from men express their love for these women, and a lucky few honeys are given bracelets and necklaces and other jewelry.
Hard core skeptics pooh-pooh Valentine’s Day. They declare it has nothing to do with love or relationships. No, to them, Valentine’s Day is a sinister plot hatched by florist and card companies. It’s a day for the masses to spend millions of dollars on items that will fade and wilt within days, and nothing will remain but memories which, in short time, will also fade away. These grumps chastise others for wasting money on frivolous things. For them, the day would be better spent at home as the little women cook suppers as they sit in their recliners and read the paper and watch the evening news.
Valentine’s Day is most special to children, more precisely those in elementary school. Some of my fondest memories of young love came on that special day. The purchasing of the right box of cards was important. They couldn’t be so sappy that my buddies would kid me about giving them out, but they needed to affectionate enough to woo girls in the class. The pack was a winner if one card was a bit bigger and sweeter than the rest. That one went to the girl that was special that year. I remember the names of some: Loretta Moore, Kay Nabors, Suzanne Fletcher, and Brenda Wright. They’d won my heart, and I wanted them to have special valentines that announced my feelings.
Prior to the parties that took place on those days, kids worked on bags in which others would place cards. Hearts and arrows covered the fronts of them, and along the top carefully written names sat just below the bags’ openings. More creative students added white paper lace around the edges. Less enthusiastic youngsters scribbled their names on bags with ink and found more interesting things to do.
We’d all watch as students delivered cards to those bags. The worst thing that could happen would be that a kid skipped someone else’s bag. That was an insult that wouldn’t soon be forgotten. We boys paid special attention to the girls on whom we were sweet. Hopes ran high that those females would slip in a bigger card. Absolute heaven came when we opened up a card from girls and found heart candies with special messages on them.
One year, some boys and I used the bags for goals as we shot paper wads at them. Mr. Stewart was our teacher and caught us misbehaving. For us he had a special valentine. We lined up and he swatted us with a paddle a few times. With every contact, our faces flushed and our bottoms warmed. A group of rowdy boys learned how sacred valentine bags were.
I hope Amy likes her valentine. She’s been my one and only for 36 years. Yep, she’s a trooper to have stuck with me. I love her and want to always make her happy. One thing’s for sure: she’s made Valentine’s Day a happy day for me for a long time.