I started passing little notes of love to my classmates in the first grade. It was Saint Valentine’s Day. It was the beginning of my years of coming up with romantic Valentine's gift ideas.
It seems like just yesterday. I remember Daddy, helping me pick out a pink and red cellophane wrapped box of perforated Valentines Cards. Once home, I carefully separated the little themed cards and chose who was to get which card and what I’d dare say. Of course the card face said it all – "Hi There Valentine”, "Let’s Be Friends”, etc. I can’t remember if I selected the box of cards with Loony Tune Characters like Tweedy-Bird and the Tasmanian Devil or Disney’s Cinderella, Snow White and Prince Charming. The years blend together, and I’ve sent lots of Valentine’ s Day cards since then. Either way, I remember that I simply signed "Love, Jean”, but even that required a boldness, that on any other day of the year I may not have been able to muster. When Valentine's Day finally did arrived, exuberantly I stuffed my classmates’ red hearts and white lacy doilies decorated shoe boxes with my little declarations of love, love for friends and especially my male version of Charlie Brown’s "little redheaded girl”, a boy named Mark.
Of course, I had high hopes that I’d receive lots of "Will You Be My Valentine?” cards and especially, one from "him”. I did! In fact, during the Valentine's Day class party when the teacher and room mothers were not looking, he and I managed to "accidentally” meet in the coat room. It just so happened that more romantic Valentine's gift ideas had crossed my mind and I came prepared. I presented him with what I know now to be the traditional tiny candy conversation heart with Kiss Me printed on it. In that very moment, I received my very first real kiss. Mark was either inspired or liked following instructions, either way he and I have joked about our first and only kiss even some forty years later.
As my classmates and I entered middle school love notes of another form began to be passed. You know what I’m talking about, the carefully folded love note. Typically made out of Blue Horse ruled notebook paper, these tiny love notes were handed off by a trusted messenger on behalf of a best friend. Either by biological drive or example, one twitterpated classmate after another sent forth on paper, the near heart-stopping question: "I like you. Do you like me? Check: Yes or No.”
It is easy to think that I am well beyond these childlike maneuvers, especially after twenty-nine blissful years of marriage. However, these simple expressions of love were effective then, so why not now?
Let me offer this thought, whether it is a new love or a "tried and true" love, who wouldn’t like to hear that they are adored and, like songster Nat King Cole sings, that they are unforgettable?
This Valentine’s Day 2013 as I contemplate more romantic Valentine's gift ideas,perhaps I will return to what I know works. Perhaps I will compose a love note to my Valentine.
If the same thought has crossed your mind, yet you are asking yourself, "What can I possibly say or do?”, consider composing a from-the-heart message for the one you hope to cozy up to this Valentine’s Day. You could possibly start by looking into the past.