Standing in the aisle at Hallmark, meandering through the Valentine’s Day memorabilia, I pause to pull a card and read the sentiment. The words blur as I find myself not only reading sentiment, but becoming sentimental. A small flutter of the heart, harkening back with nostalgia, to early days and a box of miniature Valentines before me, a box of candy hearts and a pen.
I’m not sure. So many traditions long gone. A different age, a new generation of young kids. Do they do this anymore? Do they sit at home with the Valentines scattered in front of them, searching through the pile, a familiar face in mind, and the need to find the PERFECT message for the curly haired red head in the front row of class. The not too over the top one line of love for the classmate two rows over, who you have a tiny crush on, but secret that thought away. A crush so sweet and tender that it is best kept to oneself.
Is there a cardboard box too? One decorated with wrapping paper, stickers and glitter. The receptacle for little love notes, perched on the edge of your desk when the sorting begins. When kids wander the classroom, little postal workers, delivering the I Love You lines. The box that says quietly, please please pick me. Please drop me a line. Please let me know you think good thoughts of me.
As I hold the Hallmark card in my hand, a part of me wants to go and buy a box of tiny Valentines. I have an old shoebox. My desk, as always, has a drawer full of markers, and glitter stickers, and pens. I could do this. I could be a kid again. I could sit and write a Valentine for all the people I meet and greet on February 14th. I could tape a candy heart on the outside, and as our paths cross on that red roses, chocolate filled day, hand each person a Valentine from me. To say.
I love you.
Would that be too creepy?
Maybe someone would write down my license plate number, possibly roll their eyes, or simply toss it in the trash.
Love. Love is a risky business.
The fear of saying I love you, and getting nothing in return. You know what I mean. The sinking feeling that yours will be the only box, the only one without a single Valentine in it.
What if your love is returned with a smile,
a hug, or best of all…
I Love You Too.
Better than chocolate.
Well almost. I am not sure that ANYTHING is better than chocolate. Hint. Hint. Hint.
I do remember. I do. One Valentine’s Day, in class, opening an envelope and finding out that someone, the very same someone I had hoped for, showed up and not only signed their name, but added three XXX’s and one O.
The I Love You You Love Me Back Goosebumps.
Find someone to love this week.
Gather your courage.
Take a risk.
Maybe they will give you…Chocolate!