When I was in elementary school I enjoyed Valentine's Day immensely. Our class would always make mailboxes to put at our desks and then on February 14th, before we had our class party, we played mailman and handed out our Valentines to everyone, including other boys. Most of the time I made mine by hand (ya know...folded piece of paper cut into an ear and then folded out to make a heart) but one year my mom actually procured store bought valentines so I could be like the normal kids whose parents had money left over after feeding their children.
My fondest memory comes from 3rd grade. This memory is so profound that I virtually have forgotten all other events from this time in my life. Here's how it goes:
This kid named Matt was in my 3rd grade class and I always found him to be quite annoying. He'd sit by me during lunch and strike up conversations about whatever was on his mind. Looking back I see him as a nice kid but he annoyed me beyond my words to describe. At the same time I never turned away anyone who was annoying. He pretty much had no friends and I could tell making friends was difficult for him so if he considered me a friend that was okay. My situation was the opposite...I had more friends than I wanted.
Matt's grandmother was Japanese and he talked all the time about how he was going to bring some Japanese food for our Valentine's party. He brought it up all the time and was very excited about it. Each time he talked about it I had to resist rolling my eyes.
So February 14th came and it was the day of our party. I brought a small bag with my valentine's to hand out to everyone but didn't bring any food for our class party. This is when I was relieved that I came from a poor family because I really didn't want to be encumbered any more than necessary.
Matt brought his sheet of whatever it was (I'm remembering it being California rolls or something but at that time I only had the sophistication to call it "that Japanese stuff.") When our party started Matt started handing it out to everyone from this flat cookie sheet. He was holding one half of it and had the other end resting on a table while handing it out to everyone. He was so excited.
Now here comes the part that brings me the fondest memory. He started to pull away from the table but didn't grab the other end of his cookie sheet. What happened was he dropped all of his grandmother's food on the floor. It all cascaded down into a big sticky rice mess. I saw it all happen almost in slow motion as Matt yelled, "Oh no!" He was so bummed that his exotic party dish was now all over the floor of our classroom.
Why is this my fondest memory? I didn't have the heart to tell Matt how annoying he was and I would've felt like a jerk telling him. I also never would have had the heart to knock his sheet of food out of his hand and tell him to shut up either...but it was like fate smiled on me for the sake of my entertainment...albeit, at his expense.
Aside from laughing at Matt's misfortune I gave this girl named Michelle a valentine with Donald and Daisy Duck on it and both ducks were surround by lots of hearts. I'm sure she understood fully the subtle symbolism of the affection I had for her for about two weeks that year...until I became distracted by our new playground balls. Yes, I've always been that smooth with the ladies.
Happy St. Valentine's Day everyone.