Thursday, February 14, 2008

hearts


In second grade, we did valentines the cruel, old-fashioned way. There was no rule that you had to send valentines to everyone in the class, no concerns about fairness or hurt feelings. You sent valentines to the boys and girls you liked and none to the ones you didn't.

In the morning, you went to the front of the classroom and stuffed your cards in a box covered with construction paper hearts. At lunchtime, Miss Pellegrini opened the box and went through the cards one by one, calling out the names on the envelopes. When the box was empty, everyone got a red paper napkin and a cupcake with pink frosting. But some of us had a bevy of valentines spread out on our desktops, while others shuffled two or three. The lesson was as plain as if written in the curling cursive letters we had to copy when we practiced our penmanship. Life is unfair, not everyone likes you, and some loves are unreturned.

I gave my prettiest valentine, hearts and arrows drawn on a doily, to James from England, who said interesting things like "lift" instead of "elevator" and "sweets" instead of "candy." But, for the life of me, I can't remember if he gave one to me.

Who was your very first crush?

42 comments:

Beruriah said...

Kevin with the red hair. I'm not sure he ever gave me a valentine either.

Rebecca @ Clumsy Kisses said...

James from England was probably as baffled as I am at this whole Valentines-in-the-classroom thing.

Justine Frischmann. She was the lead singer of Elastica. I was 12, maybe?

K @ ourboxofrain said...

A boy named Spencer, before the edict went down that some kids were cooler than others. He was on the winning end of that one, at which point it became clear that I would have to set my sights a bit lower, at least until high school, at which point it became clear that I didn't really like those kids anyway and had actually set my sights higher all along.

Maggie said...

My first crush...was Joe. I do remember getting a Valentine from him. Then he moved away, and I was appropriately crushed. For at least a day, until I found a replacement.

Kindergarten love is so tragic.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Magpie said...

A boy who lived down the street, who is now a homosexual. And yes, I still see him from time to time, because his parents still live down the street from my mother.

the dragonfly said...

My first crush was a boy named Eric in first grade. My mom put the Valentine he gave me in my photo album...so I still have it. :)

Angela said...

My first crush was Ronnie. I remember Valentine cards being exchanged exactly as you described. Over the last couple of evenings I've helped my Kinder & 4th grade daughters fill out their cards. One for everybody

Becky said...

Jimmy Someone Or Another.

It was first grade.

I loved him.

c. said...

Billy. I am certain the feelings were not reciprocated. That was pretty much my life story, though, when it came to my crushes.

Pamela Jeanne said...

I can't recall his name, but I do have a fuzzy memory of planting a kiss on him. I was "love 'em and leave 'em Pammie" in first grade. It wasn't until I was 18 that I kissed another boy in anything but an air kiss. Yep, a 12 year drought, but I've since more than made up with it with the greatest lover on this blue planet ...he showed me just how great he is this very morning! Okay, I'm going to stop now ;-)

Aurelia said...

OOOOOOO Pamela, I'm laughing at the love and leave 'em. And the TMI, chuckle.

My first crush was a little boy named Columb who was in my kindegarten class. Haven't seen him since. Oh alas my long lost love... ;)

CLC said...

Some boy named chris in the 2nd grade. He left after 3rd grade. It was an unrequited crush. I had a knack for unrequited love.

wheelsonthebus said...

What an awful tradition!

Nick. Blonde hair and braces.

Tash said...

Andrew. Was a friend from infancy, and I went in and out of crushes and friendship with him until college. He really saved my ass in Jr. Hi, when he was BMOC and I was the epitome of the awkward stage -- he continued his friendship with me much to everyone's surprise (and chagrin). My mom occasionally runs into his; I think he's married and lives in the northwest.

God what a reminder about how much this holiday just sucks.

LAS said...

I was 5 and there was this Jason guy down the street that would come over to our house with the other neighborhood kids to play. I liked him so much that I would only let him eat green popsicles - no other flavor. He had to eat green because those were my favorite, and I would only share them with certain people. How silly of me.

Rachel said...

An older boy named Todd, I think he was 7 and I was 4 or 5.

As far as Valentines, we never had to give one to everyone either, but I always did. I never wanted anyone to feel left out and my mom always bought the boxes of 20 or 30 so I had enough. There was always one or two in the box that were bigger. They went to my best friend and whoever I had a crush on at the time.

painted maypole said...

my first crush? oy. i think it was a boy named Joe, who lived around the block.

i sent MQ off to school today with sorry little valentines, with no treats. I know all the other moms will include candy and pencils and whatnot. but we just got back into town late last night. the kid is lucky she had any cards to take at all. ;)

Elizabeth said...

Jonathan, when I was four. He loaned me a Sweet Pickles book but broke my heart by always talking about the "purty gal" in our preschool (this was during a long summer my family spent in Texas). From then on, I knew I would always be destined to be forlorn and forsaken by unrequited love, and that I would never be pretty enough.

(Thank you T for rewriting that script forever!)

Bon said...

ack, the cruel, old-fashioned way, indeed. at least at our school the teacher didn't read OUT the Valentines aloud...

my first crush was Tony Schmidt, the only boy in kindergarten who was shorter than me. we were in LURVE.

then he moved away. became a lawyer, i think...though with a reasonable time gap in between. :)

i love the term 'sweets'. sounds richer than candy, somehow.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

This is a random thought, but I really hate those boxes of mixed chocolates. I never know what is inside the chocolate and I find that a little disturbing . . . even if the box has it "listed" in there I still never know. I think pink and green stuff doesn't belong in a chocolate.

bubandpie said...

Bobby Buchanan. Grade 1, then Grade 6, then finally again in Grade 8.

We had heart-shaped envelopes attached to the side of our desks. You didn't give a valentine to everybody, but at least it took a bit of effort to compare your own haul to someone else's.

niobe said...

Law Student Hot Mama: You are so right about the pink and green fillings. As you see in the photo above, I was forced to take a bite of the pink-filled chocolate. Sigh. Sometimes one must suffer for the sake of Art.

Las: I loved your story about the green popsicles. Except....I thought everyone knew that blue popsicles are the best!!!!

Julia said...

Man, I am glad we were spared the indignity by the lack of celebrating this day in the Old Country. We had separate days celebrating men and women, and what was done was usually by all girls for all boys and vice versa-- pool-like.

my first crush-- first day of the first grade. Love at first sight. His parents were friends with mine, so we even saw each other outside of school sometimes. His mother certainly knew of my crush and was very nice to me. He was in town last year on business and he came by. JD liked him-- said I have good taste. Except he is seriously balding now.

Coggy said...

I was talking with DH about this very same Valentines humiliation the other day. He was shocked at the cruelness of it, apparently his school didn't go in for ritual humiliation.

christina(apronstrings) said...

two things are certain:

-james gave *you* a valentine. i mean, who could resist the charm of niobe? see? exactly.

-eric. an actor on CHiPs was one hot tamale.

SaraS-P said...

My very first crush was Han Solo, but my first real life crush was named Jason. he never gave me a Valentine. Neither did Han Solo come to think of it!

Emily said...

Josh. He had dark hair and we were exactly the same height. We both played "forward" during the recess soccer games. We were best friends. And then he told me that we should be boyfriend and girlfriend. I said ok. We quit talking to one another, sending friends to ferry notes or messages from one to the other. We grew apart...literally. He had a growth spurt. We broke up. We never spoke again.

Thanks for that little stroll, Niobe. I'm going to go cry now.

passingwindows said...

Stefan in grade 7 when I was in grade 1. I don't think he knew I existed so he definitely did not send me a valentine.

We never exchanged valentines at junior school but at high school the grade 11s would gather them all as they arrived in the post and you had to do a forfeit in front of the whole school on the 14th at breakfast. My mother always sent me at least 2 and I felt that a forfeit just was not deserved for a valentine from one's mother.

passingwindows said...

Stefan in grade 7 when I was in grade 1. I don't think he knew I existed so he definitely did not send me a valentine.

We never exchanged valentines at junior school but at high school the grade 11s would gather them all as they arrived in the post and you had to do a forfeit in front of the whole school on the 14th at breakfast. My mother always sent me at least 2 and I felt that a forfeit just was not deserved for a valentine from one's mother.

Kami said...

His name was Pat. We were in first grade together. I think he "loved" me back, but he moved away that summer. sigh.

quietsanctuary said...

When I was a child we never did the Valentine thing in school, only when we got to high school and it was done voluntarily to show someone you actually 'liked' them and wanted to 'go round' with them!

My first crush was a boy called David in 2nd grade, he used to sit behind me during story time and scratch my back as Miss Campbell read such classics and See Spot Run!!!

Good days.... x

Manda said...

It was a boy named Aaron who for some reason or other wasnt made to do school swimming lessons, so I made up an excuse for not being able to swim either (we were 7 or 8 at the time) and I spent each weekly swimming lesson sitting next to him by the side of the pool talking about whatever 7 or 8 year old talk about.

Now as a 28 year old I still cant swim.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

Richard in 2nd grade. I LOVED him. I chased him around for months, but he never gave in. Jerk.

Lisa b said...

Mine was a James too. James Lewis. I still swoon at the thought of that boy.

Ah grade six love.

He was a sophisticated military brat who had lived around the world. I was but the daughter of a Bell Canada engineer working for Saudi Telecom. It was never to be. I suppose the fact that we actually met in that country is somewhat of a love story in itself.

kalakly said...

Ohhh, Brad...our parents were old friends so I grew up with him. By the age of 6, I had named all of my baby dolls Brad or Bradley and he filled my diary for years. Some of the best entries still haunt me. "Brad asked me to couples roller skate at the birthday party today. He held my hands for the WHOLE song!" and "Brad threw milk at me at lunch today, I know he likes me now."

Now, if someone throws milk or other food products at me, I am pretty sure it's not because they feel affection for me...but hey, back then, a girl could dream ya know?

the end of motherhood said...

Hmmm. Dave O'Keefe's dad.

loribeth said...

David from first & second grade. He had blond hair that was almost white.

Before him, there was Bruce, who lived across the street & rode tricycles with me. He told me he was going to marry me someday & I said, "OK," but I never really thought of him as more than a friend. (Funnily enough, last I heard, he never has been married!) There was also Mark, who walked with me to kindergarten most days, but ditto for him.

I also fell in love with Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits after my mother took me to see one of their movies. I got their album for my sixth birthday & there was a poster of him inside that I had on my bedroom wall.

Anonymous said...

TJ...he was the school bully. We were in 3rd grade. I was an over achiever even then. However, we both ended up in speech lessons. I couldn't say my "r's" and he had a lisp. I remember on the playground some kids were picking on me (because I was a nerd dontcha know) and TJ came up and punched the boy in the face and told the others to leave me alone. I promised myself that I would love him forever. Then I learned to say my "r's" and didn't see him much anymore.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh the cruelty behind popularity traditions.

Depending on def. of crush...probably Mark, 6th grade and he came to my birthday.

a- said...

Marvin with the big afro and cute dimply babyface from third grade. Unrequited love at its finest.

Monica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monica said...

ughh... I tried to edit my post,but then deleted by mistake.

We were required to give Valentine's to everyone, but I always saved the most special for my favorite crushes. The teacher would tape these puffy hearts made of construction paper to the chalkboard railing and we would go up the board one by one and deposit a valentine in each one.

My first crush was on this boy named Bebe. He was hearing impaired or possible deaf. I'm not sure because it was in first grade. He could talk, but not well. He had a signer some times. He used to stare at me a lot so I thought he liked me. He was just probably learning to read lips. My mother saved the Valentine he gave me. It had a picture of Thor. I gave him a Spiderman valentine.