My Lovey, Dovey Valentines

I must admit, I was a little disappointed to learn that my blog for the newspaper this week fell on Valentine’s Day.

As a single person, what do I have to say about the subject of love and commitment?

Zilch, nada, a big and barren goose egg, and that’s no yolk! Oops, I mean, no joke!

The nice thing about being single on Valentine’s Day is it doesn’t cost us a dime to take a sniff of a coworker’s beautiful floral bouquet (which, by the way, we can enjoy from afar until the bouquet goes home at the end of the day); and we can buy half-priced boxes of Valentine’s chocolates on Friday and not disappoint anyone but our own waistlines.

That said, if you see me in the half-price Valentine aisle on Friday, I’m only there because my nephews are coming for the weekend, and I think I’ll treat them to some lovey-dovey chocolate concoctions that will make them blush and roll their eyes. Hey, that’s what aunts are for, right?

It wasn’t all that many years ago that I hauled a bag of heart-shaped chocolates to an Ellsworth basketball game during the week of Valentine’s Day. My niece did the proverbial eye roll, and while the younger two were grateful for some sugar-laden goodness, the heart belonging to Nephew Matt, the basketball player, stayed hidden in the bag until long after the game. It still makes me laugh as I imagine what he would have said or done had I presented it to him in front of his teammates!

What is it about Valentine’s Day that makes kids so embarrassed?

I shouldn’t have to ask. I mean, I’m not so old that I’ve forgotten the days of construction paper-covered shoe boxes decorated in red, pink and white heart cut-outs. Do kids still do that today?

In every single grade throughout elementary school, the rule was, if you’re going to put a Valentine box out to collect Valentines, you must give a Valentine to every single kid in the class.

Now, this was back in the day when everyone had cooties — the boys thought the girls had cooties and the girls thought the boys had cooties. Yet, on that one day of the year, we forgot about cooties and enjoyed reading our Valentines while munching on our Valentine treats.

A stick of gum was a common treat in a Valentine card, I think mostly because it was the least embarrassing. I remember some years when I had to give out those yucky, sugary candy hearts with messages, and I was so careful not to put an “I Love You” heart in anyone’s envelope! Ooh, the hoots and gasps of finding a message like that in a Valentine at such a young age!

I wouldn’t doubt that Valentine’s Day could be one of the best days to be an elementary school teacher.