Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 1948

Valentine's Day was a really big deal when I was a kid. The teacher decorated the classroom with red hearts pinned over white lace paper doilies on the bulletin board.  The blackboard was festooned by homemade red and white chains of construction paper.

As the big day approached, our class of fourth graders was busy making preparations. We worked diligently on our Valentine boxes, cutting out hearts of red and white construction paper and pasting them to shoe boxes. After a mail slot was cut into the top, we wrote our name on them.

The teacher had provided a list of names of all the kids in the class so our moms could help address them. But the Valentine cards themselves were just a formality. The truly sublime part of the event was all of the treats.

In those days of stay-at-home moms, everyone in the class was assigned goodies to bring to school to share. There would be cupcakes, cookies and popcorn balls! I could hardly wait.

The morning of Valentine's Day,  I woke up with a fever and headache. As my younger siblings left to get on the bus for school, I lay on the couch miserable and sad--not because I was sick but because of all the fun I was missing.

When I got to school the next day, the teacher gave me my box of Valentine cards and a popcorn ball she had saved for me. It was little consolation. I had missed the big day and it was gone forever!

This is the only Valentine's Day in entire my life that I remember...how pathetic is that?


Joanne said...

I had totally forgotten the grade when we made and decorated those boxes and then the entire class paraded up and down the aisles, dropping in valentines. Then, we ate the goodies our mothers had baked. I'm so sorry you missed yours; as I recall, it was a lot of fun. Happy Valentine's Day.

Mitch Block said...

I once heard a motivational speaker make your exact point. He asked everyone in the audience to recall their strongest birthday memory with a spouse (pretty sad that he made the assumption everyone had or even wanted a spouse, but I digress). Almost every member of the audience recalled that one time (or many) that the gift was bad, the date was forgotten, there was a fight, illness, etc. Such a shame. Anyway, I remember the pressure of having to make a Valentine card for EVERY girl in the class whether I wanted to or not... and the rotten girls who did not do the same. (I was 6.)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

What a terrible day to be sick! I agree with Mitch...we do tend to remember the one bad thing instead of the dozen (or hundred) good ones. I remember addressing cards for each classmate...picking out the "best" ones for my favorites and a few "ugly" ones for kids I didn't like. My mother would always tell me I should like and be nice to everyone.

Elaine said...

I don't remember anything being made of Valentine's Day in the schools I attended. What a shame that you missed the big event at school after all that anticipation and hard work.

I do recall one year, when I was a teenager, I was so excited when I received a truly mysterious Valentine's card through the post. I was elated, I walked on air with happiness and hope! Several days later my mother confessed that she had sent it. Talk about deflation. It hurt.

Kittie Howard said...

Our classes never did much of anything special for Valentine's Day. Thus, it's never been much of a big deal for me, can take it or leave it and move on with a shrug. But it's true we tend to remember those disappointments more than the good times. Actually, I think it's really good you only had one bad Valentine's Day. That's a really high percentage of good ones!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sparrow chic said...

As a mother, you must have ensured your children did not suffer the same fate, because I do not remember a bad Valentine's Day. I Love You !

Daughter Number Three said...

That human trait of remembering the one bad thing is why we're fooled by loss avoidance. And I've heard that for couples, you have to give 10 compliments for every 1 criticism. It's just how our brains are wired.

Anonymous said...

I was born in may of 1948, I went to catholic schools part of my childhood, there were no Valentines celebrations, in public school I cannot remember any Valentines day celebrations, I only remember only children birthday parties, they were the best because they were small and the parents took a lot of time and effort to make their only children happy, I was from a huge family only to lose my Mom young so my friends became my family and I really liked it that way...I have only one child and she never complained about having siblings, everyone considered her the sister they really really wanted, who would have thought that they came from homes of over 8 kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!! & they wanted to live in our home and be with us...so much for sentimentality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We always spoiled our only child on Valentines day her dadddy spoiled me and brought home a tiny heart shaped box and some toys for her when she young and when she got older he got her a sweet gift, I made something sweet for dessert and that was that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still have the Valentines cards her friends gave to her and to me they are so sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!