Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

This year Valentine's Day is Tuesday, February 14th.

My memories of Valentine's Days go all the way back to childhood. The sweet and chalky taste of conversation sweethearts always comes to mind. These classics included "Kiss Me," "Sweet Talk," "Charm", "Dream", "Be a Sport", "Teach Me", "Wild Life", and "Be Mine." Sitting at my desk, I often wished for a dictionary that would help me to decipher the meaning of a saying so arrogant as "Top Dog" or enigmatic as "Help Me". Don't we all remember that Necco, the maker of sweetheart candies beat Facebook to the punch with "Be my Friend" and "Like Me". And, finally, there was the oh so special "I Love You" reserved for the one and only.

Sitting in a second grade classroom, boys and girls spent countless hours deciding who would get what saying. Furtive glances were exchanged accompanied by the low level chatter of excited schoolchildren. Watching over all of us from her desk at the front of the classroom, sat our teacher. For her, we reserved the biggest Valentine and the candy that said "Ur Great". I suppose the teacher forgave the misspelling.

After the momentous decision of who got what was made, the candies were inserted into a self-made Valentine's card. I loved words even as a grade-schooler and always chose my words as carefully as I did my candies. Those deserving poems usually received a variation of something that sounded like, "Roses are red, violets are blue, you are swell and cute too." Those less deserving might receive a similar poem, but accompanied by an ending that was sure to bring a chuckle among friends.

(After all these years, the one ending I remember goes like this, "You look like a monkey, and smell like one too."  This, of course, was too racy for a second-grader to write down and could only be said out of earshot from the teacher.)

Now that I am older, Valentine's Day has a deeper meaning than childhood crushes. Valentine's is a celebration of love and friendship. And what better way to celebrate than with a poem.

My love is like a Valentine,
Caring beyond measure,
Sharing all that is mine,
With memories to treasure.

So, on this Valentine's Day

Be my true friend

In every way

Until the world shall end.

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