A bloody heart, messy crimson, sticky and warm.
It's a Valentine - Fresh-baked sugar cookie with red icing- a consolation prize, everyone wins. “Take ONE” The note reads, the strict instruction is surrounded by hearts and arrows, drawn in red marker almost as sloppy as the icing on the cookies. The pink and white parchment is in the shape of a heart. I wondered to myself “Does anyone else find these festivities a bit overwhelming?” A kind thought, none the less. I imagine the task of making cookies for an entire 2nd grade class started sometime around 7PM yesterday and ended in the early hours of the morning. As evidenced by the progressively sloppier job of slathering great globs of food-colored icing onto the tediously cut and baked shapes of hearts and letters L and V.
Nothing ruins my appetite like sugar on sugar, don’t get me wrong, I like cookies, but I think the icing is just too much. I took a cookie simply because it felt like the right thing to do, just like it was the right thing to do to make valentines for the ugly girls. My mind was elsewhere as I took my seat, yet I still faintly acknowledged all two cards on my desk. Pipe cleaners, construction paper, glitter and glue, the staples of Valentines Day. Although the messages were quaint and heartfelt, I can’t take them seriously on a day when they are exchanged in mass. The only thing these cards said to me was, “Evan, no one should cry on valentines day, so here’s a reason not to.” This is the notion behind my own cards to the Ugly Girls, and it occurred to me that that the thought is universal. I wasn’t going to cry anyway, I don’t have some tough guy complex, I just don’t have anyone to cry about, and I don’t feel like that’s something to cry about.
"OK class..."I already knew what comes next. “ Time to make valentines for Mom and Dad!” I’ve already made mine and left them on the ironing board and bathroom mirror at home. So I sifted through my backpack for a book instead. Any book… Color by Numbers, Notebooks, storybooks…. For me, it was you, Notebook. And here we are, now you are caught up to speed.
Across from me is my best friend Robbie. He is writing with a crayon and laughing at his own joke, but he wont share it, at least not until quiet time. On my left is Caitie, she is intently, if not incompetently, spoiling a new piece of red paper with her plastic Saf-T scissors. Vigorously, rigorously chomping a fine red mulch onto her desk. I’m betting she will accidentally topple the bottle of school glue perched by her elbow before she finishes. It just crossed my mind that I should show her the trick to cutting out even-sided hearts, but I don’t want to take away from her valentine’s originality. She seems to be enjoying her frustration a little. And besides, her mother will think its precious.
I’m just looking around the room, it looks like I’m the only one not making a valentine for my parents. maybe I should let my habit of over-anticipation wear off before I become a functional member of society, it seems like I try to hard. Now Teacher will probably ask me why and I’ll tell her I’m writing a letter for my valentines. I guess I just don’t see a point. I mean, before recess I made 4 or 5 cards. all for people I don’t even care for, okay it was only 3, but still, I think I’ve done my time. I don’t see why we dedicate an entire day to practice of superficiality.
Look at me, I’m just a regular stick in the mud. Maybe when I'm in middle school I’ll start wearing black and drawing pentagrams in sharpie, and coloring my fingernails black while I‘m at it. Maybe my "attitude" will simply a manifestation of my “Rebellious Nature” as mom might say, "He needs to feel that he's in control of his own life, and so he trovers his identity by questioning the state of society and developing his own unique set of ideals..." oh man, she'll probably go on and on.... I think I'll storm off and slam doors yelling things like "you don't KNOW me!" but i suppose we'll have to wait to find out.
I guess I can see where Valentines Day is kind of a "rule" in my mind, galling in its inane ritualism . I don’t mean like taking your shoes off at the door, just like… I don’t know… blessing the food? Why do we have to make a big deal out of something that should be … never mind.
My point is, I don’t even have a girlfriend, why should I be made to participate in a holiday for couples? Mia and Johnathan seemed VERY genuinely enchanted on the playground today. Good for them, let THEM celebrate "Valentimes day". But for me, I shouldn’t even be thinking about girls yet… it’s not like I’m mature enough to be in any sort of relationship. Good practice maybe? Are we just going through the motions now so we’ll know what to do as adults? Like a fire drill? Maybe less of a fire drill for some, more like “1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” or naming the 7 continents. But it’s all a fire drill to me. ‘In case a girl sets your heart aglow, here’s a list of things to know…’
I’m pretty sure this holiday has done nothing for mankind except wreak anxiety in relationships…maybe for some that’s the only excitement left. Each new year, more new couples will adhere to the rule that if you don’t spend such-and-such amount on chocolates or lingerie, or say such-and-such a phrase ( “Be my valentine?” or “I love you.” or “Marry me?” Etc.) then they don’t truly love their boyfriend or girlfriend. then again, maybe it was an excuse for Johnathan to finally hold Mia's hand, now that he had something to fall back on.
I don’t know why I’m spending my time pondering this stuff. Or maybe I’m just repeating someone else’s opinion. Either way, I think this whole day should just drop off the calendar. 27 days in February sounds good to me.
Robbie said that we probably aren’t allowed to write lingerie in our journals, and that I might get in trouble for knowing what that is. Probably better play it safe, But I don’t know who would care to read this book... Its all a lot of “silly kid stuff”. Robbie is going to come over after school to play cars, I wish we could go over to his house instead because my cars have dirt and stuff in them. Oh well, maybe mom will stop at Alco and get me that box of hot wheels. I’ll ask Austin if he’ll get her to get it for him for his birthday… she’ll probably at least swing by there. Maybe I’ll just get some more marbles with my allowance.