In my humble opinion, today is a dumb day. Attached. Unattached. I’ve pretty much always felt this way, with the exception of 5th grade. I dug Valentine’s Day back then, until I didn’t get a valentine from my crush . . . Naturally, I was crushed.
Word got back to him (or, maybe he saw me sulking on the swings at recess, I can’t really remember), and he realized his error. He’d slipped a card, likely a swooning and affectionate missive, into the wrong locker! The locker adjacent to mine had been vacant all year–an easy mistake. All we would need to do would be to enlist the help of a kindly custodian to unlock the vacant locker. How romantic!
Romantic, unless you’re about to receive, nay a love letter, but a pity valentine. What, you’ve never gotten an innocuous and obligatory valentine gift or card from someone who wasn’t into you? That’s a pity valentine. In 5th grade, it’s a store-bought, miniature card from a collection of miniature cards. Yours will feature the most benign message of affection in the pack. Something like You’re Neat as opposed to Be Mine or, even, I Love You. The intention is for you to feel acknowledged but not falsely courted, and the reasons for this banality are manyfold. Typically: The giver (your crush) is a decent person who doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, and he already has a valentine with whom he’s smitten, a petite blonde named Stephanie. Their giddy laughter and tetherball-playing after school will torment you for the next several weeks. After college, the pity valentine still includes a generic note, this time accompanied by tulips (possibly the friendliest, most unromantic flower in creation), and arriving the day after Valentine’s Day. It will not come as a surprise to you that the latter was from a long-distance boyfriend who I would soon discover was dating someone else. Sweet.
Thankfully, I can laugh at my past valentine follies. Or, at the very least, recount them for you, so that you can laugh at me.
I also made you a valentine of my own, homemade not store-bought, which means I really like you.
Happy Valentines Day! Feel free to post your own valentine follies.