Valentine’s Day Part 1: The One That Got Away

In case you haven’t heard or noticed the red and pink cut out hearts and overpriced boxes of chocolates at your neighborhood store, Valentines Day is just around the corner.

A day where love is celebrated  and Prozac prescriptions are refilled simultaneously.

I love Valentines Day so much. Actually, I love the awkwardness of Valentines Day.  I love the sad and angry singles, the oblivious and annoying newlyweds, and everything in between.  I love it so much that I decided to post a blog every day this week documenting my random thoughts and/or memories on the holiday.

Growing up, Valentines Day was always very stressful.  It was a day that needed weeks of preparation.  First, I had to pick out the absolute best Valentine’s Day card that would be passed out to every classmate during the mandatory VD party. Second, after choosing the best set of cards (my awkward and sheltered private schooled self normally choose something along the lines of Winnie-the-Pooh or Clarissa Explains it All) I had to sort through all the cards and decide which ones to give to whom.  My least favorite classmates always got a generic “Happy Valentines Day!” message while my best friend would always get my favorite of the pick that normally said something like “You’re Tigger-iffic! Be Mine!” (Again, let me stress that I was a socially awkward private school kid who didn’t know where babies came from until I was like, 11).

I hated passing out Valentine’s Day cards.  It was always awkward and being my true self, I made it a point to completely avoid eye contact with any boy I found to be remotely cute (some things literally never change).  So, not only did I have to force eye contact, I actually had to give him a Valentine’s Day card that I specifically picked out for him! It was horrifying! I still remember navigating myself through the maze of 6th grade desks to Craig Johnson.  Craig Johnson was not like any other boy I had ever known.  He had been to a public school, so he was well-versed in non-Christian things.  His parents let him watch The Titanic, he listened to Blink-182, and I’m pretty sure I heard him say “dammit” on more than one occasion.  He was the epitome of a bad boy in my world and he was everything I ever wanted.  The problem was that he never noticed me.  Maybe it was the Winnie-the-Pooh overalls or maybe it was the over-sized prescription glasses that threw him off. To this day, I will never know.

The point is, I was in love and I now had the opportunity to face the love of my life and reveal my true feelings through a Valentine’s Day card.  So, I did what any good Christian girl would do.  I picked the most generic card that revealed no form of emotion or attraction, wrote his name on it and handed it to him as if I was being forced or tortured. I then walked away praying, “Lord, if it’s your will for us to be together, please reveal it to his heart.”

Fast forward 3 more years.  I am now a mature and blossoming 9th grader and I am SO OVER Craig Johnson! The Lord never revealed it to his heart for him to marry me, so I moved onto greater things. Plus, he had transferred to another school, so that helped. I exchanged my grandma glasses for BLUE glasses and my overalls for bell bottoms.  I did rebellious things like listen to the Backstreet Boys behind my parents back and watch every Britney MTV special I could squeeze in.

Valentine’s Day cards were so over and now Candy Grams were all the rage.  I had already emotionally prepared for this day because if it was anything like the years prior, I would only receive 2 candy grams.  One from my Nana (who worked at my school) and one from my sister because my mom literally made us buy one for each other.  Every year it was emotionally traumatic as the “student council” kids disrupted class to pass them out because I always seemed to receive the least in the class. I, my friends, was Gretchen Weinered every year.

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I was fully prepared for the humiliation and was ready to pretend that I didn’t care about juvenile things like Valentine’s Day. Then, something happened.  I received not one, not two, not even five but SEVEN candy grams! SEVEN! THE NUMBER OF THE LORD! As I looked over my desk overflowing with the goodness of cupid, one candy gram in particular stuck out to me. I picked it up and it read, “Happy Valentines Day! I love you! PS. Craig Johnson thinks you’re cute! Love, Cara.” (Side note: although Craig had switched to a different school, we had recently seen each other at a birthday party and exchanged glances over Dominos pizza and Surge).

My heart began racing. My face flushed with red joy as I looked around the room. CRAIG JOHNSON THINKS I’M CUTE! I’M THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD!

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You see, that Valentines Day, everything changed for me.  It was the day I realized that I’m not always the ugly duckling.  It is possible to have the man of my dreams like me in return. Sometimes, when I want to escape reality or my Netflix isn’t working, I think back to that day and relish in the emotions and feelings of popularity that overwhelmed me.  Was he the Jack the my Rose? The Justin to my Britney? Not exactly. But I sure did feel like a star.  I actually have no idea where Craig Johnson is these days.  Judging from recent Facebook posts, most likely in a tanning booth.

Well, that concludes my random story for the day. If you learned anything from this, I hope you learned that a single candy gram can change a life forever.

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3 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Part 1: The One That Got Away

  1. 1. You had Winnie-the-Pooh overalls and oversized glasses too?? I don’t feel so incredibly lame anymore. (Although my overalls were brown corduroy….they were pretty bad. I thought they were the coolest though.)
    2. Four for Glen Coco! You go, Glen Coco!

  2. My sister sent me the sweetest gift in 7th grade. I felt so important and loved :-) Some things aren’t forgotten. Enjoyed your sweet story…socially awkward is a bit too relatable.

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