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When I was in grade school, we’d celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree on the school grounds and singing Edelweiss off-key. On May Day, we’d weave rolls of colored crepe paper around the tetherball poles on the playground. President’s Day meant cutting out silhouettes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln with black construction paper.

For Valentine’s Day, the teacher would send us home with a list of our classmate’s names pinned to our shirts with a straight pin. 

I’d sit at the dining room table and separate my cards by sentiment before writing names on the envelopes.

The girls in my class got the mushy ones. The boys received cards with generic Happy Valentine’s Day greetings because I didn’t want them to think I liked them. After all, my heart belonged to Peter Tork of the Monkees.

One kid in my class, didn’t trouble himself with writing names on the cards. His were simply marked boy or girl

The room mothers would bring cupcakes and pass out heart-shaped lollipops and Sweetheart conversation hearts. This was the Valentine’s Day I knew as a child.   

Of all V-day gestures I’ve received, two stand out in my mind. One year, I got a can of Underwood Deviled Ham sandwich spread from my then boyfriend who was on the east coast. He’d tried to send a Honey Baked Ham, but Fed Ex refused to accept it. Not the most romantic gesture, but certainly memorable. What woman wouldn’t want a ham for Valentine’s Day?

A year later, he attempted to cook a Valentine’s dinner in my tiny studio kitchen. I stayed away until dinner served on my towel-covered ottoman. Dessert was this goopy chocolate thing swimming in a raspberry sauce swirled with suspicious white stuff, which I feared was Milk of Magnesia or worse, Liquid Paper. I was relieved to learn it was tapioca pudding.

I married this guy. And yes, I still have that can of deviled ham. 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share this adorable video of Young Love and a thoughtful post on a Man’s View of Romance and Valentine’s Day.

What was your most memorable (good or bad) Valentine’s Day?

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I’d like to invite all of you (writers or non-writers) to enter Romance U’s Tainted Love Contest. It’s a fun but twisted way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Click on the link for details. Tainted Love Contest

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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