As a child, Valentine's day was always sad for me. No one in my family really celebrated it, there was the odd box of chocolates or sometimes some flowers for Mom, but it was pretty much ignored.
In elementary school it was a big deal, well to the teachers as it provided easy lessons and distractions for the students. Of course, most girls thought it was fun, drawing, cutting and pasting pink, white and red hearts, overlapping, colouring, writing in little phrases they learned from unwrapping a roll of sugary Sweatheart candies. But for the boys, like what the fuck was that all about? Boys in elementary school have little interest in making Valentine day cards. The only thing they could hope for was being the most popular boy in the class, which was probably uncomfortable any ways and something the other boys could use to tease them with.
I never had to worry about getting teased about that, however I got teased with just about everything else. From grade three to grade eight, when everyone was passing around their handmade cards or the boxed ones that you just fill in the names, I never got one. The girls would get up and one by one put their greetings on everyone's desk, snicker at me and pass by never dropping any sweet sentiments. When it was my turn their little faces turned to disgust when I placed a card on their desk.
It did bother me back then, but since I was already the most hated kid in the school, I took it in stride. The affect on me from that to this day is minimal and not a concern any more. Still, I look back on that little boy and wonder if he is alone and how did he possibly bare the brutality and embarrassment he sustained. I know now as an adult, I could not stand for it. How my teachers just let it happen year after year with no empathy for me, is beyond me even now.
It was in grade six, while assigned the task of cutting out hearts and filling them up with pictures and sweet words, did I draw a picture of the teacher, who had placed my brother in an appliance box, sucking off the principal. And the one girl who was once nice to me grabbed the picture and gave it to the teacher. I was told to go to the office and present it to the Principal. Embarrassed and ashamed I passed him the card and to my surprise I saw a sparkle in his eyes and a grin on his chin.
He quietly assigned me some work, which I completed outside his office while the other children passed sweet nothings. At the end of the day, I went to my desk and there were no cards for me. At least, I had avoided the train of snickers and rolling eyeballs that year.