Even if I did get the proper cards, I had to sort through the 24 count set and throw out any that hinted at romantic love. Anything that said, “Be Mine” or “Hugs and Kisses” was definitely out. If the wrong person received a “Forever in my Heart” card from me, I could be sure that the mean girls would have the card-bearer and myself ‘sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g’ until the cows came home.
One year, after sorting through my Tweety Bird cards (seriously, Mom, were they out of Garfield or what?), I came up one short. I made sure the mean girls and my friends got the ‘good’ cards, but I needed one more card for a boy I'll call Ted. I didn’t feel right about leaving Ted out entirely, so I made him a card in the shape of a whale out of construction paper hearts. There was nothing romantic about a whale, but it was made of hearts so it counted as a Valentine. Problem solved.
A funny thing happened. Ted sought me out after the class Valentine party. He thought my whale Valentine was really cool. I explained that I had run out of my store-bought ones. This was my elementary school way of informing him that I was not in love with him. Of course, he never assumed I was. Romance is probably the farthest thing from an eight-year-old boy’s mind. He just thought it was clever, and thoughtful, unlike the store-bought cards everyone else passed out.
It stuck with me, all these years. I wonder what would have happened if I had spent less time and energy trying to impress the mean girls, and more time being creative, and thoughtful. I’m pretty sure the mean girls would have invented new ways to make my life miserable, but maybe it would have been worth it.
Thanks to J.A. Garland for inviting me to join her Love-Struck blog hop. The big blog-hop giveaway ran from Feb. 10- 14th. Congrats to Lori, the grand prize winner!
You can still enter to win a free e-book of Watcher from me (See Rafflecopter giveaway below)!