Valentine’s Day is a changed holiday. Remember the good old days when you came home from school with an armload of Lisa Frank and NBA star cards, hopped up on sugar for days? Now you might get a bouquet of roses from your boyfriend, eat an entire bag of Dove chocolates cuz you CAN, DAMNIT, or ignore the existence of the Hallmark holiday altogether. But let’s look back at the simpler times.
1. Sort through your box of cards to decide which person gets which card.
This was a long, thoughtful process. Many boxes came with a few cards that were bigger than the rest of them. Those were obviously meant for your besties. You also had to read the messages on each card. The cards you didn’t like went to the boys with cooties, and don’t forget one for your teacher.
2. Analyze each card you received.
Your *~crush~* might’ve been sending a subliminal message through his Michael Jordan card to you. Your frenemy was possibly passive-aggressive by giving you a Lisa Frank whale card. These were up for interpretation.
3. Beg your parent(s) to come in (or NOT come in) for your class party.
You could show off the Valentine mailbox you created (and covered in glitter and doilies) or get your teacher to brag about you to your parents so they give you more allowance. Or maybe you were a troublemaker and didn’t want your parents to know.
4. Eat tons of homemade treats. This might not seem that weird. But nowadays, schools won’t let things that aren’t fruits or vegetables with NO TRACES OF ANY NUTS through the doors. I remember trays upon trays of Funfetti cupcakes covered in sugary sweet frosting, cookies with red and pink M&Ms, red foil-wrapped heart chocolates, etc. Kids these days are missing out on the good stuff.
5. Wear Valentine-themed clothing.
My mom made me and my siblings Valentine vests. I probably paired mine with a nice pair of red stirrup pants and a matching scrunchie. Screenprinted sweatshirts with matching stretch pants were also the norm. I’m still guilty of wearing red or pink or both on V-Day…sans patterned stirrup pants.
6. Receive strange gifts or cards containing gifts.
Wendy’s Frosty coupons were super popular. Although I received many Frosty coupons over the years, I don’t think I ever redeemed a single one. Boxes of candy hearts with messages written on the back always appeared in my Valentine mailbox, along with Tootsie Pop cards.
7. Use the day to make “grand” gestures.
This was THE day to profess your love to your *~crush~*. I dreamed of receiving a teddy bear and flowers from an 8th grade dreamboat (it didn’t happen) but I did see it happen (and instantly got jealous.)