Childhood Views on Valentine’s Day

Growing up as an awkward, tall and chubby kid, you can imagine how much I loved Valentine’s Day.

That’s me at the top of the stairs.
Wearing a crazy headband.
Throwing up the peace sign.
Rocking out my PIPE jeans for “husky” girls.
Be jealous.
I loved it about as much as the spinal examine at school.
“Bend over like you’re touching your toes!” the school nurse would say.
Please, please don’t let me have this, what it is you’re checking for? I would pray inside my little head.
I loved this holiday as much as getting picked for a team in gym class in grade school.
I was only picked first for basketball, mainly because I was tall. But then they quickly realized I’m as fast as a cow and have the coordination and grace of a drunken stripper in high heels.
I loved Valentine’s Day as much as a random lice check at school, which I always feared the worst.
“You’re good,” the nurse would say and push me along.

PRAISE JESUS, lice free another year.

I loved Valentine’s Day as much as I loved the cold, square pizza with fake pepperoni dots on it.

It wasn’t my holiday. I never got a heart shaped box of candy, even though I begged and pleaded that I would. Just once. Or even a small teddy bear that said, “I LOVE YOU VALENTINE!” or “YOU’RE ONE SEXY VALENTINE!”

I was the chubby Carrie Bradshaw of the fifth grade school at Northwest Elementary; love was all I wrote and dreamed of when I was that age. I was not as stylish and beautiful as Carrie…but my Grandma Kaye would tell you that I was the most beautiful girl in the whole school, which is a crock of rotten milk. God love her for trying to make me feel so special growing up. It DID make a difference, Grandma!
Years and years would go by before I ever had a Valentine. But even then, the holiday just never felt special to me. I mean, my whole life I associated this holiday with spinal examines, head lice checks, traumatizing gym classes and nasty school pizza.

Do I think that Valentine’s Day is a national holiday that is overrated and makes chubby fifth graders sad? Yes.

But, do I think that it’s important to have a day that reminds us all to celebrate our love for someone? Yes.

AND I would like to add, that you shouldn’t just celebrate the love you have of your significant other.  I know some extremely happy single people who celebrate the love of their friends and family. 

And what is the biggest lesson I’ve learned about Valentine’s Day now that I’m older? You shouldn’t limit yourself to only showing someone how much you love on one day.

You should celebrate love daily.  

  • Send a cute card for no reason at all (I’m looking at you, Sarah Frey)!
  • Buy someone a cute pair of earrings just because you know they’d rock em’ so well (I’m looking at you, Meggie)!
  • Buy someone Starbucks and leave a cute message on their cup.
  • Drop off cupcakes as a sweet reminder that you care about them.
  • Write a letter to someone…and send it in the mail like they used to do in the “old days.”
  • Compliment a complete stranger on their glasses, shoes, smile, beautiful eyes, outfit, purse or even hair style. You’d be surprised how ONE small compliment can change a person’s entire day around…I’m living proof.
  • Smile, at every single person you meet.

I’m ending this blog post with a special picture + message to my everyday Valentine:

Much love,
Ashley

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