News and Tribune


February 11, 2013

BEAM: A Valentine’s Day Carol


With all this talk, you might think I hate Valentine’s Day. Hate is a strong word I generally reserve for ruthless dictators and reality television stars, but yes I might have a bitter chocolate chip on my shoulder. 

While helping my kids decorate their card boxes for their school celebration, memories flooded my mind from Valentine’s Days past. I expected to turn and see Old Jacob Marley in fuzzy handcuffs readying me for three visitors to come that would change my wicked ways. Instead, all I found was a 6-year-old covered in glue and glitter asking if she could, please sir, have some more heart stickers. The cleanup was frightening indeed. 

Anyway, Valentine’s aren’t exceptionally fun for the lonely. I never had a boyfriend until I was a sophomore in high school. Think about it. For 10 years I received those awful “So Glad You’re My Friend” cards in my box. No Xs. No Os. No love. 

And while the cute little sassy girls received candy kisses from boys, I sought contentment in my heart lollipop, broken into crystal meth-sized pieces, which the teacher had handed to everyone. 

When you get to an age that you actually have boyfriends, it’s not much better. In high school, I remember watching a movie one Valentine’s Day about STDs. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. 

Afterward, I stared at my date’s lips throughout the whole movie, hoping the canker sore wasn’t something else in disguise. Well played, educators. Well played.

Even now, with marriage, you can’t be sure what the day will deliver. My husband and I have been married far too long for the flower thing. When you have three kids, wooing kind of loses its touch. And he’d have to sell our oldest son to buy even enough gold for a beaded earring. 

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