Valentines Day at my Lutheran elementary school was handled with the type of delicacy usually reserved for handling poisonous snakes.
There was a party and class moms brought cookies and all, but words like "friendship" and "Joy" and "The love of Christ" were thrown at us like bricks by manic eyed teaches who wanted to make sure we knew this was without a doubt NOT a romantic event.
And since Valentines Day has it's roots in Catholicism it of course involves their favorite thing in the world...Saints. And if you're looking for something to crush a romantic vibe, you really can't find anything better than a really sad story about a Saint who died tragically.
So little skort* wearing me wasn't really wasn't expecting more than a cookie and watery punch.
*The "skort" is the mullet of children's clothing which has thankfully disappeared from the world and will hopefully never return. It was the beginning of a lifetime of questionable fashion choices for me.
Therefore, I was intrigued when one of my friends told me she had "something really really important to tell me" so I should meet her in the middle of the field by the playground, which is where clandestine meetings of extreme secrecy usually went down.
She told me that a boy in our class totally "liked" me and that he was going to give me a Valentine. She also said that she wasn't supposed to tell me so I needed to pretend that I didn't know.
She was thrilled and jumping around squealing, but I was immediately distressed. I'm socially awkward in the best of times so handling a delicate situation like this, in Elementary school the social equivalent of open heart surgery, was for me a Hell on Earth.
The boy in question was I'm sure very nice, but we had very little in common since my pastimes at the moment were reading my beloved Redwall books and avoiding conflict and his seemed to involve sports and following the most obnoxious boy in our class around and laughing at his jokes.
So how did I decide to handle this situation?
Well, when I walked into class I could see a folded up piece of binder paper sitting on my chair.
Looking back, writing something on a piece of binder paper obviously torn out of a notebook did not show a lot of creativity or initiative so it makes me feel less bad about what I did next.
Which was to walk over and, feigning ignorance, brusquely push the paper off my chair onto the floor in my most businesslike manner, and then sit down and avoid eye contact with everyone for the next few hours.
Which, honestly, is a pretty good description of my personality and coping skills to this day.
The boy in question and I probably spoke less than 10 words to each other in the next 4 years. But I don't think his psyche was damaged in the least by my dismissal since he later became one of the most sought after boys in Junior High. However, since he continued in his occupation as the obnoxious boy's laugh track, I had no regrets.
Anyway, I'm off to happily eat some chocolate and watch Netflix. Bye.