Happy Valentine’s Day! Even after all these years, when I think of Valentine’s Day, two childhood memories come to mind, one happy and one less so.
First the happy memory: My father always bought three boxes of candy for Valentine’s Day. The big red heart full of chocolates was for Mother. My sister and I got our own heart-shaped boxes, but they were considerably smaller than Mother’s, and had only a dozen pieces or so. I was a skinny kid, and ate a lot of candy in an effort to remedy that situation, so the contents of mine quickly disappeared. Fortunately Mother was more restrained, and willing to share — but only one piece a day.
The less happy memory shifts to school. In grade school we generally took shoe boxes to class and personalized them with seasonal decorations and our names a few days before February 14. As classmates brought in assorted valentines, generally selected from inexpensive collections purchased at Dragon Drug, they were dropped into the various boxes. Only a select few, all girls, received valentines from everyone. The rest of us cringed, hoping not to be terribly embarrassed at having too few. I was not one of the few who received a full box. I was never humiliated by this experience, but neither was it uplifting. The candy hearts, cupcakes or cookies and punch provided by the Room Mother’s volunteers for the class party saved the day.
Like most holidays recently, Valentine’s Day is being subjected to commercialism, with CNN reporting that average spending on this year will be around $120 per person, most of that spent on a significant other. What about you? Will you spend that much? How will you spend whatever you dig out of your pocket? How does this compare with Valentines past? What memories and stories do you have of Valentine’s Day? Did you take sappy cards to class? Does a dance, dinner or date stand out? How about writing some valentine memories down for posterity?
Perhaps rather than writing for a general audience, you’d enjoy writing a valentine story for that special person, sharing endearing memories.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal