And That’s Why I Hate Valentine’s Day

When I was in fourth grade, Miss Emler had us make Valentine boxes out of shoeboxes for our Valentine cards. I really worked hard on mine. I was a new student that year, transferring from a private Catholic school where there was no Valentine’s Day. Being a student at the Sacred Heart of Mary Juana  Academy was pretty close to being in hell, I was sure. So, I was excited to get Valentines from my new friends.

Miss Emler made us take our Valentine boxes home and wouldn’t let us open it to see our Valentine’s. I was really hoping to get one from Doug. He was the cutest boy in fourth grade and I think everyone liked Doug. So, I took my Valentine box home and after dropping my books on the couch, plopped myself down on the floor. I was excited.

Inside were a lot of Valentines. I read each one and  put it aside like it was quite fragile. This was fun. But, then, my mom spoke up.

“You know Vickie, enjoy Valentine’s Day now, because when you get married, your husband won’t buy you a damn thing.”  she said, as she sucked on her Salem cigarette, and exhaled up into the air. That smoke just kept coming out of her mouth. ” Your father never buys me flowers or candy.”  I just looked at her. “Vickie, when you get married, don’t expect your husband to be buying you flowers and candy all the time. It doesn’t happen. You need to go to college and get a degree so you can support him.”

Um, Mom, you’re raining on my Valentine Day experience here. My dad probably bought her flowers one time and she made him take them back or something. I knew he didn’t like her too much. He deliberately ran over her flowers with the lawn mower. I saw him do it. He looked at me and laughed and went back over them again. He was a quiet guy, but he got back at the rolling-pin woman.

“Vickie, then again, you may not even get married, so go to college and get a degree.”

I decided to talk back a bit to my mom. I remember this conversation. ” I will so get married and my husband is going to buy me a lot of flowers and candy and even a dog.”  So, there, you loon.

I opened all of my Valentine cards and I didn’t get one from Doug. I was crushed. The next day at the bus stop I asked Ramaine and LeeAnn and Lori if they got a Valentine card from Doug. They did. Now I was ready to cry. Doug didn’t give me a Valentine’s Day card. Life was over….at nine years of age.

At school, I over heard Kacey tell people that she got two  Valentine cards from Doug.  Two?  Way to rub salt into my oozing wound, Kacey.  It got back to Doug and he went to her and told her that he didn’t give her two cards.  “Yes, you did. You signed both of them.”  Seems like Doug put a Valentine card without a name on it in Kacey’s Valentine box by mistake.  I heard him tell Scott that he made one for everyone.

So, I went home that day, knowing that that Valentine card was meant for me. But, it didn’t mean anything a day after Valentine’s Day. I hated Valentine’s Day.

Fast forward to February 14, 1984.  It was my first Valentine’s Day as a married person. The phone rang. It was my mom.

“Vickie, Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you.”  Yeah, me too, Mom.  Small talk, then….”Sooooo, what did your husband get you for Valentine’s Day?”

I wanted to lie. You have no idea how I wanted to lie. I wanted to say that he bought me a dozen roses and took me to dinner and wrote me a poem. Because poetry is sexy.

She didn’t give me a chance. She noted my hesitation. “Do you remember when you were little, Vickie? I told you that when you got married that you wouldn’t get anything for Valentine’s Day, didn’t I?  Your old mom is pretty smart, isn’t she?”

“Mom, he got me a Valentine’s Day present.”   I didn’t lie.

“Oh, he did, did he? …Vickie, I know when you lie. You can’t fool your mother.  Ok. What did he buy you?”

Yeah, I know.....

Long pause…..then the truth.. “He um, bought me a hamburger maker.”

After she started laughing, I just walked over and quietly hung up on her.

I guess nothing says “I love you”  like pressed ground beef.

And that’s why I hate Valentine’s Day.

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24 responses to this post.

  1. [...] JumpinginMudPuddles recounts a childhood heartbreak: And That’s Why I Hate Valentine’s Day [...]


  2. Love it and now I want a hamburger. Way to go….how is anyone supposed to watch their weight when you are taunting us with good old fashioned hamburgers? Was that thing just to make the patties or did it cook them (like a single burger George Foreman grill)?


  3. Yikes… a little scary to be a male chiming in here! That’s hysterical…. ah, us men are not always the brightest lot! You’ve probably read my post about a Valentines Day toolbox… all fictional of course!! lol. I hope my wife gets me a hamburger maker for Valentines Day!! Great post!!


  4. What a delightful post, Vickie! Ah, the pressure of Valentine’s Day when you’re at school. My younger son, when he was about 12, got a Valentine’s card through our letter box. I asked him who it was from, he said, “An enormous admirer.” He meant “anonymous”! :-)


    • Thank you so much, Sunshine!…I really appreciate it. LOL..”an enormous admirer.” That’s a good one. My fourth grade class made their Valentine bags today and I told them to make sure they had a Valentine for all of their classmates. I couldn’t stand seeing anyone get hurt.


  5. You knows mothers are one to talk. My mother complains about the same thing. My dad never buys her flowers or candy or any presents.
    So you know what she bought me for my anniversary?
    A mop and bucket!


  6. Valentines day is dumb, in my opinion. Every year my husband and I make a pact…not to get each other anything for vday. I completely agree. I would much rather get flowers and candy on some random day throughout the year than on a day that they feel they ‘have to’. Just like yesterday he brought me home a Carmello! Nothing says I love you like a random Carmello! they are my favorite!


  7. Posted by Cheryl Andrews on February 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

    My husband does the same thing every year, a card and grocery store flowers. I’ll take flowers in any form, thank you. The strange thing about the card is that he writes the year at the top? Does he think I keep them tucked away somewhere to gaze upon in ‘cooler’ times? I did make one in a box one year and gave it back to him filled with chocolate kisses …


  8. Some men have no clue…my mom told me my dad’s idea of romance was taking her to the zoo on their anniversary! She hated the zoo!

    Sorry Doug passed away, Vickie!



  9. You should make burgers for Valentine’s dinner every year. That could actually be quite an awesome tradition? Heart shaped?


  10. Posted by Elizabeth on February 8, 2011 at 12:36 am

    You poor soul, though I don’t blame you none. Valentines Day is not my favorite day either. :) Great post, I really enjoy reading your blog.


    • Thank you, Elizabeth! I know, Even after that hamburger press and he would try to understand that household needs are not what women want for Valentine’s Day, I just have always had a sour taste in my mouth for Valentine’s Day…lol


  11. a hamburger maker??? sorry… I startled the poor cat from laughing so hard. I can sympathise though… for my first birthday present from the b/f he bought me… an electric screwdriver!! Admittedly, it WAS meant to have been a hand drill but the one he got didn’t have the charger base and they didn’t have any more in stock. (I have to add here that I was on a theatre course that required a lot of set construction…so there WAS some thought behind it….but even so!! lol)

    We never did the valentine post boxes at school, I kinda wish we did now lol. Did you keep any of those valentines btw?


    • LOL..I know, a hamburger maker. He never knew when Valentine’s Day was. Thought it was the 21st. I keep meaning to have my fourth grade class bring in shoe boxes to make Valentine boxes, but I always forget. I have white bags for them to decorate today. I wish I would have kept the valentines..Doug has since passed away.


  12. Posted by Patricia on February 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Yeah, we all had a crush on Doug. Sigh. But Kacey got him. Probably was her perfect jack knife dive that I always saw her execute at the Center pool.


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