google-site-verification: google3581c80fc060195e.html

Did Valentines disappointments make a slut of me?

This morning as my 5 year old set off to school blissfully unaware that it is Valentines Day, I thought back on my childhood.  I’m not in favour of schools making a fuss of the day.  They do, it’s a great fundraising springboard, kids pay x amount to send cards to each other.  You can see the problem here, can’t you?  The cuties in the class are lavished with cards and there will be those who get diddly.  When you’re young this makes an impact, little blonde Sally with her cute turned up nose is clearly way ahead of where you are.  You are a reject, nobody ‘loves’ you and getting a card from Mummy or teacher really just rubs salt in the wound.

From the age that I knew about Valentines day I would await the day with excitement, I would hope for a card to be sneaked to me at school and after school I would make a trip to the post box every 5 mins, with every trip my spirits sinking lower.  Of course I got FA.  As a pre-teen I distinctly remember walking to the house of a boy I fancied delivering a gift of 2 fluffy chicks, after all my favourite gift was always a cardboard box punched with holes.   As a teenager I would come up with creative and thoughtful cards and little gifts for the objects of my fancy, still I got nothing!   That’s a heap of cumulative rejection and disappointment, it really hurt.  Of course it should not have hurt, I’ve seen recent pics of those who thwarted my attention, most have not fared well on the wheel of time. Still when you’re a school girl with fairy tales fresh in her memory, rejection is a mighty blow.

Let’s not be crass in this paragraph but in my late teens and early twenties I was alerted to the fact that the way to a boy’s heart is not through his stomach and he is not rocked with passion when presented with livestock or poetry. Armed with this understanding I embarked on a good few relationships. Would relationships have been different if I had been one of the popular girls? Would I have felt less pressure to give in to young men’s carnal desires if I felt more self-confident with the opposite sex? We never know those answers, do we?

In truth, it is always a culmination of events and choices which lead us onto the paths which we choose. It’s the times that we either did or didn’t listen to our inner voice. Still the little things play a part, however small, in shaping our destinies.

In my grand old age now I know that it really doesn’t matter that little James didn’t send me a card, he grew up to be a dweeb anyway. I also know that little boys also hurt when they are sidelined. Do we really need f****ing Valentines Day? Tell the person you love how you feel every day.

My feeling is that schools should not promote the exchanging of cards, no matter how juicy the appeal in terms of fund-raising. If I had my way it would be outlawed at schools. Too many little hearts get broken on Valentines day and you want to bitch slap little blonde Sally with her turned up nose.

9 comments

  1. Nice post. Really good point. Not to put too much of a point on cause and effect, This post reminded of a tale about Gary Gilmore as shared by Norman Mailer in his book…”The Executioner’s Song.”

    “For quick context: Gary Mark Gilmore (December 4, 1940 – January 17, 1977) was an American who gained international notoriety for demanding that his own death sentence be fulfilled following two murders he committed in Utah. He became the first person executed in the United States after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a new series of death penalty statutes in the 1976 decision Gregg v. Georgia. (These new statutes avoided the problems that had led earlier death penalty statutes to be deemed unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia.) Gilmore was executed by firing squad in 1977.” From wikipedia

    Anyway, Mailer writes that when Gilmore was about eleven, his 5th grade teacher left it up to the class to decide whether to exchange valentines. Gilmore argued not to. Suggesting the students were too old. It I recall the vote was close but Gilmore’s position lost. What I do remember is that Gilmore gave each person in his class a valentine. He received not one.

    There is no correlation. And nothing can excuse Mr. Gilmore later actions. But your post brought this to mind. Just thought I’d share.

    Again, nice write.

    Regards,

  2. Thanks for your comment Doug, very interesting, I had never heard of Gilmore or that case. I recently read the Stephen King book ‘22.11.63’ it also made me think hard about the long term impact which the smallest events have. Something as seemingly insignificant as choosing to go on a particular outing or what time you left your house may change your whole life, you never know which small steps are the ones that matter. More than likely the Valentines story had no impact on Gilmore’s actions but who knows?

  3. Sula I too never received or gave anyone Valentine’s gifts whilst at school – I never quite understood the fuss. There is however one event that sort of portrays this day in the light that I see it…at 5 months pregnant my then bf gave me a beautiful necklace (never mind that I’m not a shiny jewellery kind of gal!) only to freaking hit the road two weeks later. The mind boggles, like wt…

  4. Great post Sula =however I think its here to stay. At our school everyone dress in pink red and white for the day and they have some fun in the class. All 3 classes did something so that all got something – the grade 1 brought one sweet to school which will be chucked in to a container and drawn by each child. The grade 2 each brought something for their fellow opposite sex class captain. The grade 4 drew names on Monday and are bringing for that kid.

  5. I’m very happy with my son’s school, this year they asked the students to wear pink/white/red and bringan item for baby bags at the local hospital.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

%d bloggers like this: