It's time for the Small Works Class Valentine's Day Party!

I hope someone brought cupcakes!

Well it must be time to open up the Small Works Valentine box and see what's inside (it's a shoe box covered in white paper with pink and red construction paper hearts stuck on it and a slit cut in the top -- pretty much like every year):

Here's something interesting . . . . a piece of advice gleaned just this week . . . .

Never say the words "chest pain" while you are in a doctor's office.

They'll have you hooked up to an EKG, send you halfway across town for a chest x-ray and then send you traipsing across the other half for a stress test faster than you can say but-I'm-really-busy-getting-ready-for-Baltimore. They don't care -- chest + pain are the two deadliest (by which I mean time-killing) words you can say. And they don't care that the pain is on the RIGHT side, or that you're completely sure it's something residual from the monstrous cold you endured for half of January, because (here's the kicker) and I quote: "Chest pain in a FORTY FIVE YEAR OLD WOMAN could be serious." Thanks for the reminder.

Fact is, when I went to the doctor because my chest hurt I wasn't really even thinking of THAT type of chest pain. Now I'm in "utter brain chaos," but I suppose that could be normal in a WOMAN OF MY AGE.

Let's see what else we have in here . . . . Oooooh . . . Vintage Valentines!

They just don't make 'em like they used to, do they? I scoped out the Hannah Montana and High School Musical Valentines at my local Target store and didn't see a single thing that would make my heart go pitty-pat when I peeked in my Valentine box.

But these:

Now that's more like it.

Let's see . . . did anyone leave me candy in here, perhaps?


That's okay -- I'll buy my own; it guarantees I'll get what I want.

But there is a really great Valentine's Day memory in here . . .

Every year when I'd decorate the ol' Valentine box and take it to school, I of course secretly hoped some boy would deposit something so marvelously romantic,

preferably with lots of lace and handmade,
preferably so large that he had to take the lid off the box to
get it in, and

preferably in view of the entire class so that everyone would know just exactly the depth of his affection for me . . .

that I was invariably disappointed by the same-old-same-old cards and suckers and pink boxes of conversation hearts. It was all nice, of course, and fun, but I was certain that somewhere in the world, other girls were having a much more romantically fulfilling holiday than the class party I was enjoying.

Until 5th grade . . .

I lifted the lid -- I don't know how he got it in there, it was garishly big (and a little crumpled from being squished in a shoe box, now that I think of it),
a heart made of yellow construction paper (I don't think his mom expected her son to be making valentines and therefore didn't have red or pink on hand)
with 4 (yes, FOUR!) large doilies stuck on the back.

I looked around slyly trying to determine whether everyone had gotten large yellow valentines. No??!!

He had composed a verse (a verse! for me! that he wrote himself!) and written each line in a different color ink from one of those tri-color ballpoint pens. And the "he" in the story was Mr. Cool of the 5th grade Himself, the one with THE hair and those cheeks that got so adorably red sometimes that the entire class swooned . . .

Would you like to know what it said?
Because of course I still remember.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You're the most stubborn person in the world,
But I still like you.

You see mostly our romance had thus far been limited to arguing about stupid things, like what the lyrics to "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree" really said, and other important issues of our time.*

*For the record, I was right on that particular issue.

And I was so utterly breathless about the whole episode, I forgot to even be offended by the poem. It was, without a doubt, the best Valentine's Day class party ever . . .

until I grew up and met my Real Valentine,

who would probably tell you that I AM indeed the most stubborn person in the world, but writes nicer things on my cards. And this year we're spending our 29th Valentine's Day together, not doing much besides just being in love with each other.
Try fitting THAT in a shoebox.

Wishing you all a Valentine's Day filled with hearts
-- not the EKG kind --
and something truly sweet in your Valentine's box!

(Go ahead and buy it for yourself. Satisfaction guaranteed.)


april said...

note taken: never say "chest pain" while at a doctor's office. i swear doctors get more blunt as you get older. i'm getting lovelier comments myself lately.

love the valentines especially the suit one.

didn't comment yesterday, but did write a friend after reading your post.


susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, April -- I called my friend but alas didn't reach her. I intend to keep trying, however; life's just too short for this nonsense.

Amelia and Justin said...

I think my husband would disagree with your husband and say that I am the most stubborn person in the world :)

susan m hinckley said...

They're called genes and ours are from a community swimming pool, I'm afraid.

VO said...

Yikes! Visiting the doctor is a whole new ballgame once you reach a certain age.

Just last week one of my docs told me that he thinks all people near or over 50 should take baby asprin because we're more at risk for stroke and other vascular issues.

I nearly denied I was in that age group...until I remembered I AM in that age group.

There is something to be said about denial. I was feeling lovely until he smacked reality upside my head.

Amelia and Justin said...

Put your family gene pool and my father's family gene pool together and there was absolutely no hope for me... :)

susan m hinckley said...

You know, I hadn't thought of that, but your dad is way way up there on the stubborn scale. So you are in a world of trouble, I'm afraid. Your dad and my dad could be a potent, let's make that deadly, combination in the "I'm right" category.

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