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My One Good Valentine's Day

I haven't done a "State of the Love" address in a couple of years. And, really, I'm not doing one this year, either. Check with me again in 2009.

Let's be clear. Valentine's Day really has almost nothing to do with St. Valentine, one or more martyred Italian guys way back when Rome was the most important city on the planet. It doesn't even have that much to do with some Chaucerean legend of chivalrous guys courting ladies of import.

It's really there to

A. help make the winter go by faster


B. Provide merchants and retailers an excuse to get you to buy stuff.

not necessarily in order of importance.

Having "events" helps make the time go by. So stick a bunch of stuff into a month and you have a faster moving scene. Groundhog Day? Come on! I mean, that isn't even logical. But Valentine's Day... at least that has some sense there could be a meaning there. We're halfway through February now. Presidents' Day is up next, we're two more weeks from March, and then 3 weeks later, it's the equinox! See, it's not long until the snow and cold go away and we get the sun back in the Northern Hemisphere.

VD really is a Hallmark Holiday, and we all know it. It was orchestrated and devised specifically, not to be about "love," but about commerce. And to me, that suggests something more evil and less caring. Why do we have to bother with the trappings of candy, flowers, and other such stuff, when that isn't needed? But, if you have someone you care about, you'll do something nice today, so you're stuck!

Maybe I'm a little cynical about this day because I only had one truly "Good" Valentine's Day in my life. And it happened when I was 9.

I was in the 4th grade and my teacher, Miss Virginia, was into fun and funny stuff. She was a Sutton Place socialite who tooled around town a forest green vintage Stingray convertible and she encouraged a lot of classroom participation. She managed to make all of us feel special and loved and I think we all felt the same way about her.

In January of that year, we were flipping through some idea books and came across a thing where you could build a "Valentines Mailbox." Miss Virginia mused that this might be a fun thing to have... but then she breezed on to some other stuff and I suppose she completely forgot.

But, I didn't.

So, I got the directions from the book and asked my mom if we could build it. She said yes, and so we set about getting the materials we needed, from Party Bazaar, a shop on Madison Avenue that had tons of stuff like construction paper, glue, doilies, tubes, hinges, metal brads, all things we would need to construct this fairly elaborate mailbox.

We took home the goods and set about to building the box. Me with my Lefty Scissors, cutting out heart shapes from the red thick paper, and gluing them very carefully. Snipping the doilies so they were arranged correctly on each side of the box. A tube suspended a large heart in the top center of the box, and pink and red streamers came down from the sides, with a touch of glitter and confetti and when it was done, it looked just like the picture in the book! Better, because it was three dimensional.

I couldn't wait for the 14th to come! When the day finally arrived, I marched into the classroom, carrying the Valentines Mailbox and Miss Virginia was simply bowled over! I think she was more excited about it than I was! She gave me a hug and thanked me for taking the time to do this, then she asked everyone in the class to bring their Valentines up and put them in the box before we started class.

Then, at lunch time, she assigned me the role of postmaster, and I got to deliver the Valentines to all of the kids in our room. I think I only got one or two that year, but I didn't care. It really wasn't about that for me. I was happy to be such a big part of it all, and that my teacher was so pleased with the effort.

Looking back on that moment, I guess I'm not really a cynic when it comes to Valentine's Day. I guess I still am a romantic. And I hope, if you are, you have a wonderful time, today and tonight.

One thing is certain... you may or may not have someone special in your life, but you are special to me.

Love to you and Happy Valentine's Day!


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
This was one of the sweetest things I have ever read. You made me cry!

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Feb. 14th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
And a very happy VD to you, my loving and lovely friend!

Feb. 14th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm still a romantic, but not about Valentine's Day.
Feb. 14th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
I hear that, for certain! I just wish the pressure do "have to" do something wasn't so universal. Really, if you don't have anyone, it just makes it all seem that much more painful.

Hope springs eternal!
Feb. 14th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
I'm jealous of your left-handed scissors. We couldn't find any when I was a tyke, so I had to learn how to cut with my stupid hand.
Feb. 15th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
This was the huge advantage I had over my classmates: my mom was a teacher and could order specialty school supplies like "Lefty Scissors" for me to use, from a few trade/union only shops. I even had left handed notebooks, with the spirals on the right side! Of course, that didn't prevent the ink from coming off on my hand as I wrote anyhow!
Feb. 15th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
It's funny, I write left handed, but I do everything else with my right. My kindergarten teacher used to always give me lefty scissors and I couldn't make them work.

I even bat, throw, and kick right handed. But writing is all left.
Feb. 15th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
You must be right eyed? There are some people who are, and that helps determine what fits for you. You can be left handed and right eyed... that can either make learning more difficult from what I hear, or maybe it made you more well-rounded.
Feb. 15th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
Valentine's Day strikes me as silly. I wish people would focus on making each other appreciated and loved EVERY day. The world would be a better place.
Feb. 15th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
It is silly. And yet everyone buys into it. If every day were Valentine's Day, maybe we could get to that better world. The fact that we need an excuse to be nice to each other on a particular day is really an excuse to not be so nice the rest of the time.

Oh, well. Hope Adam and you have a nice time, at least!
Feb. 15th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
He's at work, but I'm cooking some bok choy with beef and we're going to have dinner in his conference room at work.
Feb. 15th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Happy Valentine's Day, BB! My flist wouldn't be the same without you!
Feb. 15th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
Same to you my high flyer! Hope we somehow get to meet this year!
Feb. 15th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
I'll have to go to NY over a long weekend. You can take me where the locals go. I think I bid for a week off at the end of October.
Feb. 15th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Pack your costume; the Village Halloween Parade will be happening... and maybe a World Series game? Could be exciting!
Feb. 15th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
Ooh! A world series game/party. If a NY teams makes it to the world series and you host a party (or are invited to a party and can bring a guest), I'll totally go. We'll see how the dates play... I may have to re-arrange some days. (Everything's always contingent on the operational needs of the airline... blah blah blah.)
Feb. 15th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
Aww, that's a great story! But yea I have to say it's never been a good holiday for me either.. my attempts to try have ended up on a weird note! I just focus on my friends and family and forget the stigma about it being a lovers only thing. And I don't want to be a cynic either. So with that, much love back at ya! :)
Feb. 15th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)
I can't explain the constant disasters that have occurred. But yes, the pressure factor of the day only made everything worse.

Here's to having better February 14ths in the future!
Feb. 19th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
Late reply.. but yes i'm hoping for that too!
Feb. 15th, 2008 08:38 am (UTC)
Lefties unite! I'm a lefty too. Happy Valentine's Day!

Feb. 15th, 2008 08:45 am (UTC)
I didn't know that. Another element that makes you more awesome than most!

Rock on Miss V!
Feb. 15th, 2008 10:47 am (UTC)
awwwww such a great story you did it, I hope you are satisfied, u maked me have tears!!!

back atcha Dean :)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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