I was saddened to hear Necco was no longer making their candy hearts. These little sweet messages were the main staple of my childhood Valentine’s Day. I strategically placed “First kiss,” “Be mine,” or “Forever,” in the envelopes that I filled out for my friends, special likes, or sweetheart. Of course, I never signed my name to any of the cards that were for that special someone. He had to guess who gave him the sweet tidings. If he were a 3rd-6th grader, he probably tried to escape the thought that I found him special.
I know we made special cards in class for our parents, but we bought the wonderful boxes of individual cards to give to our classmates. Sometimes we decorated our Valentine’s box in school. Sometimes we had to decorate them at home. Usually, created out of a shoe box, I made use of white paper doilies, red construction paper, and other bits of flowers or ribbons I could scrounge from my mother’s stash.
On Valentine’s Day, we placed our boxes on the top of our desks. Before school started, we walked the aisles, slipping cards in each other’s boxes through the slit on top. We had to give everyone a card whether we liked him/her or not.
I learned to play the game at an early age. I saved the cards I didn’t like to give the kid I didn’t like and the same went with the candies–the most nebulous sayings went to those I didn’t like so much. The sweetest sayings and cards went to the one or two boys I really liked –always anonymously. Of course, I signed my best girlfriends’ cards, giving them special messages of undying loyalty and friendship– and always the candies with the sugary and cutest words went to them as well. I don’t think the boys really got into the whole Val. Day thing, but we girls loved this tradition from an early age.
I wonder if any of this game playing has changed with kids now. Although Necco is no longer sending these discreet and sweet verses, we can always count on Brach’s for “Tiny Conversations” to send to our loved ones.
Of course, my needs are a bit more complicated as I’ve gotten older. I am wondering if my husband will find one on his supper plate that reads, “Please, do the dishes,” especially since I made him a romantic meatloaf and baked potato supper.
P.S. Don’t forget, I am still offering good sales on all my books. Before sending me a check or looking at my paypal set up, check with me. I can make you a deal, and it won’t be anonymous!