First of all, do not be alarmed! No chocolates were harmed during the making of this Valentine’s Day memoir. Plenty were eaten, mind you, but let’s get to the story.
It all started in 7th grade. Middle school, we were all there, acne, braces, coke-bottle glasses and a few very bad misunderstandings with a product called Sun-In. I will admit, it was not my most attractive year on record. I did somehow manage to land a boyfriend that year. Ah and what a boyfriend he was. His name was Wayne and he lived right down the road from my house. We were deeply in love you see, not really sure how we decided that since we never spoke. We did, however, flick some seriously steamy football love notes back and forth in our geometry class. You remember the kind of notes I’m talking about, “Will you go with me?”, check yes or no!
Now you see, since the love affair began after Christmas, the next appropriate holiday to be expecting something from my newly acquired boyfriend would naturally be Valentine’s Day. And what a holiday to be attached. Am I right? We’re talking chocolate, jewelry, perfume and the true hearts desire of every 12 year old girl….one of those stuffed animals bearing the words “I love you”. Oh how the days approaching Valentine’s Day slowed to a crawl as it grew nearer and nearer. With every passing day I wondered just what fabulous token of deep and true love my sweetheart would bestow upon me. The suspense built to a frenzy and then suddenly, it wasn’t “V” day.
He was there, standing in front of me with the biggest, reddest, most velvety heart shaped box of chocolates I had ever seen! My first real gift from a boy! Oh joy of joys! Surely this box would stay with me until the end of time. I would share it with my children and great grandchildren, a testament of true love! In my blurry chocolate induced daze I somehow began to hear a ringing in my ears. At first I thought it was the sound of sheer bliss but then realized it was an evacuation bell going off in my school. There had been a bomb threat called in and kids were running out of exits quicker than QT would stain your palms. I quickly jumped up and ran outside with all of my classmates and then in terror, realized something awful, something even more terrifying than the thought of my school blowing to bits. My box of Valentine candy was still in the school!
I knew what I had to do and I had to do it quick. I ran past the barricades, into the school building and grabbed my box of Valentine’s. I wasn’t gonna lose loves first gift, this legacy of romance I would pass down through the generations. As I waxed poetic and began to waltz out of the siren’s blazing school building I suddenly realized that perhaps, just perhaps, I may have done something wrong. Twenty bomb squad professionals, seven police officers and one very angry principal seemed to dismiss the importance of my Valentine. I spent quite a few afternoons after that fateful Valentine’s day in detention but I didn’t mind. I think I taught everyone a little something that day. There is no sacrifice too great for your one true love…..or for chocolate.