Sunday, February 14, 2016

You Make Me Smile With My Heart

Whether you are in a relationship, a single pringle, or on the dating scene, it can be difficult to find the fun and flirtation of Valentine's Day anymore. So much pressure, so little originality. No one wants to prove their love on a specific day of the year, along with the rest of the nation. And how much red and pink can one stomach?

Despite the above, I do have a special place in my heart for this overproduced holiday. I think it harkens back to the days of exchanging cheap little Valentine's Day cards that could be purchased at the local drugstore.
I was always very selective of the valentines I chose - they couldn't be too sappy, but they also couldn't be childish. It was important to incorporate the latest trend in cartoon characters or pop culture.
Some of my selections could probably be found among this list:

I have fond memories of those 80s-themed cards, but have you ever looked at even older vintage valentines? Warning: awkward and confusing images to follow.
Anyone else find these strange and slightly disturbing?
What's even more puzzling is how many of these cards involve food, most noticeably hot dogs.

Truly, there were many cards so very far up on the creepy scale, that I didn't even feel comfortable posting them! Ah, love...

Remember creating homemade boxes that you would tote to school and set on your desk eagerly awaiting to see which admirers would strike?

One February 14th, my teacher held a contest for the best Valentine's Day box. I can't remember what the prize was, but I was determined to be the winner. This would be a box beyond what any other 8 year old had imagined. You have to understand, I'm the girl that made a to-scale replica of King Tut's tomb out of gingerbread complete with brown sugar sand - I didn't mess around when it came to projects and first place. It had to be unique and it had to be show-stopping. My mom helped me devise a box that would play music when you lifted the flap and inserted the card. Then I went crazy with doilies and glitter and cut-outs and color and hearts. Happily, my creation received all of the attention I had hoped for when it was time for the official reveal. I was confident I'd be crowned the winner and practically glowed in anticipation of a champion title. That was until a buzz of giggles and exclamations began on the other side of the classroom. Seconds later, I could make out a "zoom-zoom" sound. That zooming noise belonged to a remote control car which my classmate had topped with a Kleenex box. My ornate musical box was quickly forgotten and my peers squealed with delight as the boy maneuvered the mobile box from desk to desk in order to collect his valentines (and praise).
To be fair, the kid deserved the win and somehow my excitement for Valentine's Day did not sour. 

Other Valentine's Days that did not garner 1st place include:

The year I spent the entire rainy day gift wrapping boxes of chocolates in a theater's lobby as a bonus promotion for patrons that purchased tickets to a certain Broadway show. Super romantic.

Another Valentine's Day, I babysat until late in the evening, only to come home to discover I apparently didn't show up to a singing gig and devastated an entire theater community. Trouble was, I had never been told about this event. Not even a mention. Obviously a longer story. Obviously, super, super romantic.

Last year's Valentine's Day was the most exciting because I viewed the new home my parents were considering buying and ended up helping them to put an offer in on the spot. OK, so, still not at all romantic.

Actually, I don't think I've ever had a romantic Valentine's Day. Hmph! Well, I'm not giving up on the promise of one day being hit by Cupid's arrow, especially now that I know I am in a conveniently opportunistic location:

Thanks, doc - Sounds like my odds are good! Perhaps one year after meeting my love amongst the flora and fauna of Fort Tryon, we will celebrating Valentine's Day as an old married couple, waxing poetic such as this:


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