A Valentine’s Day Story

February 14, 2008 at 10:37 am (Dating)

My seventh grade teacher, the severe Sister Regina, decided that we students should tack our valentines to the bulletin board instead of depositing them anonymously in a cardboard box covered with red wrapping paper which served as a makeshift mailbox in other classrooms.  This had much potential for disaster.

However, the very public nature of the valentine distribution also made possible efforts to curtail the damage.   A quick look at the bulletin board revealed that, while the more glamorous of my classmates had received multiple cards, most of the students in the class had none.  So, I went to the five-and-dime and bought a box of cartoon valentines and addressed one for each student in the class.  That way, I thought, no one would feel left out.

Sister Regina was truly a sadistic woman, because instead of letting us claim our valentines en masse, she called each student up to the bulletin board individually.  And so, one by one, each of my classmates went to the board.  Some came back to their seats with several cards, some came back with only one or two, but no one came back empty handed. 

And then she called on me.  I stood up, and I could see that none of the remaining cards had my name on it.  So, I stayed where I was and told her, “No, there isn’t anything up there for me.”  She insisted that I approach the board and look closely.  Again, I told her that I didn’t have a card on the board.  Then she demanded that I walk up to the front of the room and check the bulletin board.   And so I did.  And you know what I found?  Nothing.  There was no Valentine’s Day card for me on that bulletin board.

Now, I would like to say that I learned some valuable lesson like “It’s better to give than to receive.” Or that I stood up for myself and called Sister Regina out for being the hateful bitch that she was.  But I cannot remember what happened after I took my seat.  Chances are, I just sulked. 

My Valentine’s Days since then have been markedly better.  I recall quite fondly the day in college when Ashy, Abraham, and Janice all decorated their dining service heart-shaped cakes in honor of me.  (The one I frosted for myself read “Hate Cake,” btw).  Well after graduation, Ashy spent another Valentine’s Day chez moi, and brought her friend Yanni to the party.  My friend Eva came up from DC.  We ate pink M&Ms and wrote Star Wars valentine cards to each other.   It turned into one big sleepover.  I remember the Valentine’s Day party just before I went to Paris.  The Thin Man planned to film a stripper scene during the party, and we warned all the guests to bring one-dollar bills.  Alas, the actor was too shy to show up.  But we had the most decadent home-made desserts–chocolate tart and clafoutis.

This year someone sent me flowers.  He’s trying to pretend it’s a mystery.  But I’m too clever for a secret admirer.  He can’t fool me, acting like the tulips are from my Dutch husband.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.  



  1. yoko said,

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Qui! mmm… clafouti.

  2. GunMonkey said,

    Another high-water mark in the annals of Catholic education.

  3. Ten Feet of Steel said,

    Wow, you’re getting trackback spam. I guess this means you’ve graduated to some new level.

    I don’t really remember any of my childhood Valentine’s Days.

    And by the way, Yoko, I, too, fixated on the clafoutis.

  4. yoko said,

    If I had clafoutis on Valentine’s Day, I would remember them!

  5. Ten Feet of Steel said,

    Now we can do something about our cravings:

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