Oh Valentine’s Day. How do I feel about thee?
I’ll explain, but before I do, some of you might want to grip a chair or chew on a pencil.
It’s probably best to start with the bitter and end with the sweet. I’m thinking in this case, maybe a mix of both will keep you from falling off your chair or choking on that pencil.
In case you’re wondering, the pictures below are the sweet and my list of 25 decadent & delicious favorites that you SHOULD make for Valentine’s Day.
Yes . . . it’s been far too long since I posted.
Now’s a good time to dive in and alert you of a few things you might not want to do on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is a mixed bag for me. It’s stirs up memories of a well decorated box lunch for two, mean
girls girl, a certain jock-strap and revenge!
This is the first time I’ve ever penned this memory to paper and will probably be the last. I think about it every February 14th, then try to put it away. It’s the kind of thing that you’d think would fade with time, but no such luck. I believe it’s both a curse and a blessing. It reminds me of who I am, and who I don’t want to be.
If you will, follow me back to High School – 10th grade.
Excitement was in the air and the halls of the school were full of laughter and noise. Valentine’s Day had come, but our minds were only focused on one thing. We weren’t thinking about Chocolates, red roses or notes of love. For weeks now, there had been a lot of planning to prepare for this big event. Assemblies were held, notes were sent home all in an effort to make this big & better than previous years.
It was nothing but a fund-raiser for our school, but we all loved it like it was a best friend. We all meticulously planned, prepared and decorated something so awesome that nobody could resist it.
It was the BIG BOX LUNCH EVENT!!!
I know what you’re thinking. Big freaking deal. It was though . . . it was that and much more. Every parent of every student and many others, showed up for the Big Box Lunch event. It was an auction of sorts, a way to generate funds for activities we didn’t want to see go by the way-side. Each one of us worked hard for every dollar we raised.
To make a long story short, I’ll give you the short version of how it all worked.
Each student decided on a service that they could render and in return make at least five bucks for that service rendered. Make sense? If the person receiving that service wished to pay more they could and often would. Every student also made a boxed lunch for two. Since this big event occurred yearly on Valentine’s Day, we went all out to decorate said box. The outside was just as important, or even more important as what you put on the inside of the box. Your box had to look good, stand out & impress the masses.
Early on, every student was paired up with a team-mate, a partner in crime. You couldn’t choose your partner, it was called the “Big Draw Day.” Previously, every student pulled a name out of a big box, and that was your mate for the event. If at all possible, they were boy/girl teams. Yes . . . there was a tad bit of friction over this, but those were the rules of the game. You were eliminated if there was grumbling, whining or bad mouthing at the results of the draw. Every student (with great help from parents) prepared the food that would go in their box lunch, and decorate the outside beautifully. We also had to decide on a service we could render. Once decided on, an explanation of that service was put in an envelope and attached to your lunch box.
Why did the parents show up? For the auction of course. Two by two, you & your partner were called up, boxes in hand. Your chosen service was announced to all and the auctioneer began the bidding. Bidding started at five bucks but most often exceeded that. That service was then rendered to the winning bidder at a chosen date. A contract was signed and if you failed to deliver . . . you were told that you would be hung at the top of the flagpole!
You need to keep in mind, that I grew up in a very small town. It seemed that everybody knew everybody at that time Most often, parents or someone that knew that particular student would bid on the service. So if the service wasn’t carried out, I imagine the parent would have been more than willing to do the ‘hanging’ themselves. It was amazing the array of services thought of and the generosity of all the parents who attended. It basically was just a really fun fund raiser, that we ALL looked forward to.
Let’s face it, in a very small town . . . this was an event!
By now, you’re probably thinking . . . so where’s the bitter? I’m getting to that.
After the auction is over, parents and towns people go home. It’s time to take your box lunch and head to the gym. Now you would think that we just spread out all over the floor, dive in & eat. Nope.
We each had to eat & share our box solely with our partner. No trading of boxes or partners was allowed. I was o.k. with this. Sam (my partner) happened to live on the same street I did. I didn’t know Sam well, but we waved and were at least friendly to each other. He was a senior and I was a lowly sophomore. I’m sure I was probably more thrilled than he was.
We eyed our spot and made our way. The gymnasium was buzzing like bees. Teachers were standing alert for rule breakers and those who were trying to do the ‘bait & switch.’ It certainly wasn’t hard to spot the team-mates that were less than happy. Some teams looked a little too happy.
From the corner of my eye, I saw it . . . a look that could kill!
LouAnn known as Lou . . . flashed me a “your dead” kind of look. I knew she liked Sam. I should have leaned right over to her and said; “Hey, What’s your problem?” “I didn’t choose him, I drew his name!” I didn’t do that though.
I acted as if I didn’t even see her, but my heart rate told a different story. She was one of those mean girls that loved to bully others. Let’s face it . . . she was right down scary! I never said anything to him, I just tried to play it cool. After all, I was sitting with a senior, even if he had absolutely no interest in me. As we began eating, I could feel her stares burning a hole through my backside the entire time. I was a nervous idiot.
Waking the following morning was a bit disappointing. Teachers would be trying to catch up from all we missed yesterday. I pulled open the front door of the school and was surprised to see a group of kids standing in front of a huge bulletin board. I remember thinking . . . Something must be really interesting. As I got closer, there was nervous laughter and a few of the students were pointing towards me. I was still oblivious and had not a clue, that what they were gawking at involved ME!
As I approached the bulletin board, I stood there in disbelief. It became deathly silent but all eyes were on ME.
There it was in all it’s glory. I was very aware of what this thing was and it wasn’t pretty. From time to time, I would see one floating around a laundry basket or two. It was the kind of thing needed if you were involved with athletics. A couple of my brothers were wrestlers and played football, so I’d been schooled on what the crap that thing was.
It hung right smack in the middle of that big board. In BOLD BLACK MARKER there was a name written vertically down the face of a rather large jock-strap.
Those letters spelled JONNA.
I knew immediately who was responsible. I knew immediately I was seeking revenge. I was humiliated, appalled and everything else you can think of in between. I jumped as high as my feet would carry me off the floor, but couldn’t reach that
dam darn thing. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes and I wanted to die die die.
All of a sudden a guy by the name of Jake, came to my rescue. He was a tall drink of water and a nice guy. Everyone was friends with Jake. Without as much as a hop, he tugged it off the wall, stuffed it in his pocket and slowly walked down the hall. When I saw him a bit later he could see the terror in my eyes. All he said was; “Don’t worry, I took care of it.” Somehow I trusted him. That day was a long day for me. Throughout the day, I got little notes stuffed in my desk or hurridly handed across the hall. These notes all pointed in the direction of my bully! I knew it all along though . . . no doubt it was mean Lou.
I don’t think I heard one teacher in one class. I sat quiet in each chair and plotted, right up until the last class of the day. Algebra. I hated Algebra. My stomach started getting nauseous and I was clammy and felt sick all over. It wasn’t because of Algebra anymore, suddenly it was Lou. She sat right in front of me in Algebra!
I just couldn’t do it . . . besides I was about to throw up. I ditched class and hung out in the bathroom. It was a long 40 minutes.
Upon arriving home from school, I loudly hashed out the humiliating details of my day to my mom. I hashed out the details again to my Dad, when he arrived home. I was still hashing at the dinner table & while washing dishes and while doing homework and while brushing my teeth. You get the picture.
That night as I was lying in bed, plotting my revenge . . . my Dad came into my room. I muttered a string of things and he chuckled. Dad is funny. He can always make you laugh, even if you don’t want to laugh. He tried & failed. I WAS a mean girl now. Seeing that I was un-laughable he started to leave but stopped short of the door.
He turned towards me and said;
“Remember . . . An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth . . . is not something to be proud of!”
With that, he was gone.
I continued plotting.
Morning came, and I was ready and prepared. I knew the how and I knew the time.
Flash forward to last class of the day . . . Algebra.
I took my seat and waited patiently.
Class was about to start and still NO LOU.
Where the crap was she?
Suddenly the classroom door flung open and there stood Lou.
Mr. Holmes said; “Your late, take your seat.” She flashed him a look of disgust and turned in my direction.
I felt as if I’d been kicked in the gut. My breathing came to a stop. I was sweating and felt nauseous all over again.
As she approached her seat, she leaned towards me. With a swipe of her arm in the direction of my face, I ducked. Her arm came down and pounded my desk instead.
You could hear a hushed buzzing circulate the room.
Mr Holmes saw it all. He stood from his desk and said; “Lou, behave yourself or head to the office.”
She slumped down in her chair. Her very long, gorgeous, beautiful, thick, dark brown hair flowed over the back of her seat, like always. It was pulled back in a pony tail and still hung over her chair a good 10 inches or so. I had always been envious of that hair. It just didn’t seem fair that mine was so fine and thin. Lou had far too much hair.
When everyone seemed to be concentrating on Mr. Holmes, I knew it was time.
I quietly reached into my backpack and inconspicuously reached for the scissors I’d carefully stored.
Very Carefully, I took hold of the bottom of her long locks, so as not to alert her. I held still for a brief moment, making sure she didn’t feel a thing.
She didn’t budge.
I opened the scissors as wide as possible and without hesitating . . .
I removed a good 3 inches from part of that tail ! ! !
Deer Dear Lou,
If you happen to be reading this blog . . . I’m sorry. I’ve always been sorry.
Dad was right.
From my house to your house
I hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day