2.14.2007

It's me-day not v-day, silly!

Most of my past 40 Valentine's days were anything but romantic. And, so you know how bad it was at one particularly low point, I will share this tale from Valentine's past.

Back in the day, Franklin County High School, my alma mater, accepted floral deliveries for students on Valentine's Day. Given the fact that our county-wide school boasted a population of over 1500 students, the administration had to make two or three 20-minute announcements (cumulatively an entire class period) for the purpose of requesting that floral recipients drop by the administration building. Trust me-- Valentine's Day was the one day during the school year when you wanted to hear your name on the loud speaker followed by the words, "Please come to the principal's office."

On Valentine's Day it seemed like every female student, even the otherwise unpopular, received flowers...sed one. Every year I walked the narrow halls of Franklin County High School unloved and empty-handed. It was humiliating. Year one, I blamed the problem on being a freshman. There just hadn't been time to acquire a boyfriend. But by my junior year, I could tolerate the humiliation no longer.

Since I worked at my father's restaurant most nights, I had a lot of expendable capital for a girl my age. For my 17th Valentine's, I decided to use my cold hard cash to warm up the cold February day by sending myself a dozen red roses. I beamed when I heard Mrs. Bateman call my name over the loud speakers.

"Who sent you flowers?" the curious asked.

"It was a secret admirer!" I flaunted the hand-written card and pretended to gush, my acting job worthy of an Oscar.

I adored the attention the delivery brought me on Valentine's Day. It didn't matter that I had to be my own Valentine. As far as anyone else knew, I was among the cherished few chosen by 1-800-FLOWERS.

Sadly, my thrill ended by the time school came to an end and before I got home. I couldn't bear to have my sister Christina discover what I had done, and subsequently ditched the bouquet in the dumpster just down the road from where I lived. It was like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight.

Still, this all-time Valentine's low reaped a wonderful benefit. In its aftermath I learned an important lesson on that particular day--that there wasn't any harm in being your own Valentine. I didn't need anyone else to validate that I was lovable. I just was...

In the years after through broken relationships and fail marriages, I've never forgotten this lesson of my youth. And just to make sure, I treat myself to fresh flowers or a box of chocolates every February 14th and never feel a twinge of silliness in doing so.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

8 comments:

utenzi said...

I've suggested to others, at various times, to do exactly what you did, Diane. Often a person can create interest from others by priming the pump this way. Advertising, if you will. You were a very savvy 17 year old!

utenzi said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Diane!

TamWill said...

Happy Valentine's Day Diane!

Read your previous posts and I am so delighted to hear of your pending engagement. Congratulations Dear you deserve all the happiness life has to offer!

running42k said...

Touching story. There is nothing wrong with loving yourself.

Plus, it appears that in the long run, things turned out pretty damn good for you.

Just a trumpet player said...

I also buy myself some "FROM me TO me" kind of gift every year ! Ok, mine do not look and smell as nice and look more like a bottle of raspberry vodka and hot latin music but still !! I totally deserve it...

Happy Valentine's day !!

Monica said...

You go girl!

The Daily Randi said...

I love that You Buy Yourself Your Own Gift!

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

mollymcmo said...

i love that you get your own gift too.
lol about your highschool flowers as i would have done the exact same thing!

m