The IGA boy on Valentines Day

Red and pink construction paper, a bottle of Elmer’s glue and a shoe box sit on my school desk.

Looking for my scissors I start to fold over the paper because making half a heart on a fold is so much easier than a whole one with lopsided halves.

The night before my Mom had taken me to the store and bought me a box of conversation cards.

They are just little Snoopy and Woodstock, Charlie Brown and Lucy cartoon valentines that I have to fill out from me to you. The catch is not to give a Charlie and Lucy to a boy that you don’t like or he will get the wrong idea. There is a knack to this even at a young age to ensure the boys you don’t like get the Snoopy and Woodstock combo valentine.

Our cards are all licked and ready and our construction paper receiving boxes are placed on our desks it is time to run around the room and drop off the valentines. Some of the kids with money have brought candy too, red Russell Stover’s boxes of chocolates randomly appear on some desks.

When the dance of card dropping ends the teacher lets us check our valentine boxes. The teacher also has a drop box and extra goodies always land on her desk too. Cupcakes were made by someone’s Mom today and they are more than wonderful with sugar sprinkles and extra icing.

Valentine’s Day as a child was that simple,

Cutting paper, eating a cupcake, and passing out cards to everyone.

What happens we see others get the candy, the roses, and the diamonds and wonder will that ever be me? Even as a child it had started some special children got red boxes while others didn’t.

Nothing happens really, just an empty longing for that gift to be yours one day and not so much the gift but what is behind it.

One Valentine’s Day my Mom brought me roses and candy and said Happy VD day! The thought was so sweet but really it is not a cupid thing when your Mom does it.

Have you always wanted a romantic admirer just to send you roses and a card and for birds to chirp in the air? Fat little cupid to sling his arrow our way!

Once I did get roses I really did. This boy who worked at IGA in town was the one who made my heart jump out of my chest. I was in school still but he had just graduated. One day with nerves of steel I asked him if he would take me to the dance at my school and he looked up from bagging my mom’s groceries and time stopped. His eyes smiled and he said Yes! I stopped breathing and could not speak or move but my Mom told him who I was and my address.

Valentine’s Day was a couple days before that dance and a couple days after IGA boy had said yes. Nothing ever happened for me on this day so when a huge bouquet of roses came to the house I assumed they were not for me.

Cheryl, Cheryl Ann my mom in her best British voice screaming they are for you, the flowers are yours! That dreamy boy I melted over had sent me roses, a whole dozen. The tears rolled down my cheeks and that made my Mom cry too. How sweet, did he even know I had never gotten flowers and always dreamed of this day?

Jumping in my car, with the roses and the note, I went to thank him. The crazy over the moon dreams do come true, birds’ chirping all is right in the world moment was mine just for a few minutes.

Smack, crunch, bam, oh no! My roses hit the windshield the water was on the floor, steam radiated from the hood, I had hit a tree. IGA boy was not going to get a thank you today. The birds stopped chirping. “You stupid girl” was what I heard as Dad pulled my Valentines crashed car out of the tree.

Well, I can’t say I never had roses sent to me because yes one day long ago a boy that barely knew my name and by the way it never worked out between us, sent me roses. That IGA boy made all the Valentine wishes come true.

Thank you to him it was worth the crash!

Happy Valentines Day. 

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