This will be my last installment of this type of post regarding Valentine’s Day. You can see my first two posts here and here. I may make other posts leading up to it, but we’ll see. This last story comes from an interesting time. It actually goes back to middle school – around 6th grade. This story actually is one that I’ll always remember.
In middle school I was not the most popular kid. I sucked at sports, I was goofy, a bookworm and so shy around girls – especially those I liked. I was constantly made fun of and I always thought that at the rate I was going, I would have no shot with any girl. But like most hopeless nerds, I too had a crush. And it was bad.
I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. And of course, I felt I had no chance with her. But still, I wanted to show her something about me. I figured that if I was able to get through to her some way and show her I was such a nice guy then maybe she’d like me. In order to do that, I had to go all-out on Valentine’s Day. And boy did I ever.
I ended up getting a little white teddy bear that held a heart saying, “Love me.” Then, if you squeezed the heart, the bear would say, “I love you.” I also got a rose and a card that asked her to be my valentine. I was so ready for this. I was going to walk up to her ever so smoothly, give these things to her and ask her to be my valentine. Then she would jump into my arms, scream, “yes,” and we’d be together. Piece of cake.
Ha! If only I was ever that smooth.
On the bus ride to school, all of my peers would ask me whom these gifts were for and I refused to answer. I remember the girls on the bus giggling amongst them and trying to whisper to one another, “he’s so cute.” It made me smile a little bit – not gonna lie. But then something hit me right before the bus pulled up in front of the school. I realized that it wouldn’t have mattered what I gave her, it wasn’t going to make my dreams and wishes of being with her come true. In fact, all I was going to get was an, “Oh, thanks. I really appreciate it. That’s so sweet of you. Um…someone already asked me to be his valentine and I said yes. I’m sorry. We can still be friends, though.”
Believe me, I heard this routine many times before.
Having realized this reality, I decided that I was going to give these things to someone who really deserved it. Someone who would certainly say yes to me and really appreciate it for years to come as one of the best V-Day gifts she’s ever received. I was excited again and had something else to look forward to.
When I sat in school, those gifts stayed on my desk for hours. Guys and girls had asked me throughout the day, “when are you going to give it to her,” as if they already knew who I had intended to give these things to – you know, they probably did. I was never good at being secretive about who I liked. I just smirked and didn’t really say anything. It was kind of hard to get much work done since all of these things took up so much desk space but I survived the day. I did end up giving her the card, which was a Mickey Mouse card that said, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” She liked it, thought it was cute and said thank you. Meh.
On the way home, my peers came up and asked me, “What happened? Did she not take it? She said no, didn’t she? Why do you still have these things?” I was teased pretty heavily about it on that 30-minute ride home. It was similar to that scene in The Pursuit of Happyness when the guy Will Smith played was selling those scanners and he was supposed to leave his apartment with one and not come back with it. Well not only did he come back with it, he came back with another one (if you haven’t seen the movie, I would highly recommend it).
Well although the ride home was rough, it was worth it. As soon as I got home, I snuck into the house and placed all of my gifts on my mom’s bed. I even added one those little Disney V-Day cards and on the back it said, “to the real person that I love.” After I was done, I walked back outside and through the kitchen door like I was walking in for the first time. I pretty much went straight to my room and started on my homework, waiting for her reaction.
I wish I were there to see her reaction. I knew she was so happy. She called me downstairs and gave me the biggest hug ever! She went to my dad and went on about what I did. She couldn’t stop smiling for days. And of course she told all of her friends. I owned the title of “the sweetest son” for many years after that. I can go out on a limb and say I still own that title.
She told me recently that it has become her thing to squeeze that bear every Valentine’s Day.
If V-Day is the day of love, let’s not forget those who you unconditionally love – and those who unconditionally love you.
This concludes this series on Valentine’s Day.
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