This is a love letter to yourself from myself. Not that I am overly infatuated with me, which I very well could be, but after a historic look at my previous V-day experiences, and most likely this one, I figure it’s time to prepare to not spend one alone. (Man, I miss elementary school.)
Elementary school was easy. You get a milk carton, cut it in half, throw some glue and red paper on it, and you have your V-day basket. It’s primed and ready to be filled with all sorts of pre-made love notes. (My real friends gave me the White Power Ranger.) Mom bakes some cookies with pink frosting and then makes sure you have enough Ninja Turtle Valentines for EVERYONE in your class. Yes, even Stinky Bruce Anderson.
(You know you have just enough for your friends, but when it comes time to pass them out, you just can’t seem to find the one for Stinky Bruce anywhere.)
Now, you didn’t know much about relationships, in fact, you didn’t know much about girls. (And judging by your present circumstance, you haven’t learned much since 2nd grade.) You also didn’t know that your 2nd grade Valentine’s Day was going turn your world upside-down.
What you did know was that girls were dumb, smelt funny, looked funny, and had koodies. And now, on Valentine’s Day you were supposed to like at least one of them for an entire day. You didn’t like that you knew this... you didn't like it one bit. You just wanted to go to recess.
Jennifer Perkins was the most popular girl in class. She came up to you and your friend, Aaron Roybal, and said she was going to choose her Valentine at the end of the day. You weren’t really sure what that meant, you just wanted to go to recess, but you figured she’d choose you… you had a history together…
In kindergarten, you won at bingo during a school open house. You had never won anything in your life and were really excited, only to get up to the front of the room to be given a pink, sparkly, girly teddy bear. You were embarrassed and nearly started crying. When Jen offered to trade you the baseball bear she had won earlier for the girly bear. You instantly made a friend, translation: you wouldn’t make AS MUCH fun of her for being a girl. (Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure it was Jen, it could have been some other girl, it was a long time ago. But for the sake of the story…)
In second grade, your class had a story writing contest. You wrote about a turtle that fell in a lake, couldn’t swim, learned to swim, didn’t give up, and made it out of the water alive. Jen wrote a story with a rose on the cover. You still don’t know what it was about. But it was good. She won for ‘Best Illustrations’.
You rode the bus together and threw snowballs at each other. And I think you liked the fact that she had green boogers. Like neon, bright, grass-green boogers. (What? I was eight and I liked boogers.)
Throughout the day, and on into the class party, you see Jennifer and her friends looking at you and Aaron and whispering to each other. You just really want to go to recess. On the bus at the end of the day, Jennifer walks over to you and gives you a tiny piece of paper. You open it and written in pencil are the words ‘I love you’. You look up at her and smile (I’m sure you were blushing for the first time in your life) and she says… “I choose you.” Your first crush. Your first Valentine. (Then Aaron gets the rest of the guys to start the dreaded chant: Bart and Jennifer sittin' in a tree... you slug him in the arm. Take that.)
That was a long time ago. You’ve had many Valentine’s Days and many crushes since then. You’ve pulled off some pretty impressive moves trying to capture the one that will put the sparkle in your eye. And you’ve been surprised at how resilient a re-broken heart can be. But you learned a life lesson that day: girls have complete and total power, and control, over everything in the entire universe… times infinity.