Today is Valentine's Day, and thank goodness it's on a Sunday this year.
Actually, I'm at the age where it really doesn't matter which day this holiday falls upon, but it was a different story back during my school days. Back then, I hated it when Valentine's fell on a school day.
Elementary school was the absolute worst for Valentine's Day because our teachers made us all swap Valentine's cards. This was back in the 1970s when we didn't need religious liberty bills to protect our rampant homophobia -- yet these teachers made boys swap Valentine's with everyone in the class, even the boys. If only I'd had some religious liberty bill to cite back then, I could have avoided swapping Valentine's with boys.
The girls would nod politely and wipe off the boy germs discreetly when I'd hand them a card, but the boys were just absolutely disgusted, myself included, when they got a card or roll of Smarties from another boy. I'm not sure whether we were all homophobic back then or not, but it just seemed plain icky.
When I'd hand out a card that says, "Curtis, bee my Valentine" (with some cute bee buzzing around), by the look on his face you'd think it read, "Dear Curtis, please accept this anthrax as a token of this ridiculous obligation."
By the time junior high -- that's middle school to you younger folks -- rolled around, we no longer had to swap Valentine's with everyone. But it was a confusing time. We were at an age where we boys were starting to like girls but weren't ready to admit it just yet. I mean, some of them were cute, but most of us were holding out for Daisy Duke.
When we got to high school, though, you were a total loser if you didn't have someone to celebrate
Valentine's with. I'm not sure we got much learning in those days as the pretty girls clogged the halls with balloons, roses and teddy bears. Hardly any of the boys got anything. Well, except for me, of course. I got a restraining order from Sally Ann Jenkins.
I maintain that never having a steady girlfriend on Valentine's Day did not necessarily mean I was a loser. It was mainly an economical decision as flowers and candy cost money -- and, along with charisma, charm and good looks, money was something else I didn't have a whole lot of.
Despite that, I could have had Valentine's dates if I really wanted one. My wife labors under the false impression that I was some sort of teenage Don Juan in high school, but just because you date a lot of girls doesn't mean you're a player. In fact, it might just mean no one wants to go out with you twice!
But those days are over and I don't have to worry about balloons in the hallway, trading Valentine's cards with boys, solving quadratic equations or avoiding Sally Ann Jenkins.
And no longer do I lack in charisma, charm, good looks and money. No sir! I've got money now -- I just found $1.83 in the floorboard of my truck.
But, Sally Ann, don't go getting excited now that I'm a catch on Valentine's Day. I'm happily married, and that money will go toward a fancy Valentine's dinner with my wife just as soon as I can find the can opener.
-- Connect with Chris Johnson at kudzukid.com.