“You’ll always have a “pizza” my heart.”

Right now it is 46° and sunny. Last night it got quite chilly, but warmer weather is coming. It will probably rain tomorrow, a good thing, to keep us out of drought conditions.

When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was never just a single day. The celebration started a few days before the actual festivities. In school, during art, we made valentine boxes from shoe boxes. We decorated our boxes using construction paper and crayons. We made slits on the tops of the lids for the valentines. I drew and cut out hearts from red construction paper. They were always a bit uneven, but I thought them perfect.

The next step in the festivities was shopping for valentines. I’d walk up town with my mother to Woolworth’s and spend an inordinate amount of time picking the right valentines. They came many to a package. The valentines were one-sided with pictures and sayings on the front, mostly puns. The backs were white so we could write our names. I remember valentines with chicks and puppies and little boys and girls with ruby cheeks. I have a few I bought on line. One has a picture of an elephant driving a car. It says, “You auto to be my valentine.” Another has a boy and his dog on the front. The boy is dressed like a cowboy, including chaps, a gun, a neckerchief and guitar. It says, “Git along little valentine. I’m a heading up to round your heart.” I usually picked ones with a girl on the front.

The night before the big day I’d sign my valentines and pick to whom they’d go. We pre-dated the give one to everyone so I’d address them to my friends first then random kids. I remember trying to fit my whole name on the back. It was always slanted.

On the big day, we’d also bring sweets, like cookies and brownies, to share. I remember sitting at my desk with my Valentine box on it just waiting for the party to start. We’d put the sweets on the nun’s desk for enjoying after giving out valentines. We went row by row, one at a time. I always sort of held my breath just hoping my classmates wouldn’t pass me by. From all over the room you could hear giant sighs of relief when someone got a valentine. Once we were done, we’d pick our sweets and sit at our desks munching while opening the envelopes.

Just before the bell, we’d clean up the class, put our valentines in our boxes and grab a treat or two left over on the desk as we exited the classroom. The walk home took awhile as we munched and showed off the valentines we’d gotten.

When I got home, I’d show my mother each and every valentine and read off the names on the backs. They were always full names and both names barely fit so most were slanted across the back.

I’d save my box under my bed and pull it out and read through my valentines a few more times. I never thought about the ones I didn’t get. I loved the ones I did.

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4 Comments on ““You’ll always have a “pizza” my heart.””

  1. sprite Says:

    I’m a Valentine’s birthday, so I always enjoyed the celebration doubly so. We gave cards to everyone, but I don’t know if that was recommended or just my parents’ philosophy. It was the early ’80s, so either is possible.

    This year, I decided to make Valentine’s cards for the volleyball team I captain, complete with cheesy puns: https://flic.kr/p/2ogSnfe

    They were a big hit.

    • katry Says:

      Those are clever and cute. I love the pins. They very much remind me of the sayings on the valentines when I was a kid. When I was really young, I didn’t get the puns.

      Sorry I didn’t know it was your birthday, but I figure it is not too late for good wishes. I hope you had a wonderful day!

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