The Trauma of Valentine’s Day…

February 14, 2005

I despise Valentine's Day.

I've despised it since childhood, when we were forced to give everyone in our elementary school classes a Valentine, both male and female. We used to have to decorate a small box, usually a shoebox, cutting a hole in the top and upon which our names were written. In the week before the Valentine's Day class party, classmates stuffed cards they'd picked out for you into your box.

Giving valentines to girls you didn't like was bad enough but more traumatic was being a boy and having to also give other boys cards. For some unexplained reason this was the rule in my class, though it was never explained why, and I thought it was stupid.

There was also the dilemma of choosing which special cards to give those special girls you liked, but you didn't want to be too overt in your adoration lest you be teased unmercifully. In my case, the object of my affection was usually Kathie Daley, who also liked me. We were in the same class for years. Sometimes other girls got special cards too, those who I thought were pretty in that non-sexual second and third grader way, but usually, Kathie always got "the" one.

I sometimes wonder if the kids in my class put as much thought into those silly 40 card packs of cards my mother used to buy for me to sign my name to.

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