Friday, February 17, 2012

Seven Valentine's Days 4: Early 1980s

Yeah, sure, we're all grown up now or at least trying to be.  Valentine's Day switches its focus from what it was when we were kids to what it is for us as adults: flowers, giant stuffed teddy bears, potential mating rituals, White Castle, what have you.  All of these things come with their own anxieties, but none of them quite match up to the potential for total disaster offered by Valentine's Day in Elementary School.  You know what I'm talking about: that part of the day where you went around and left Valentines for your classmates.  They look so innocent now:

But back then they were small, paper agents of judgment.  Were you going to be the popular girl or the pint-sized Casanova with a stack of status affirmations higher than your nose, or were you going to be the romantic equivalent of Charlie Brown and his rock on Halloween, left with one Valentine from the teacher and nothing else?  Oh, the tension!  Oh, the humanity!  Oh, the mountains made out of molehills!

Looking back on it now, it almost seems like an analog, pre-pubescent version of Facebook: I got fifteen Valentines grows up to be I have forty-two Facebook Friends.  The real-world worth of both is equally variable: Valentines came from your friends as well as that goofy kid in the front row who just had to give one to everybody, and your Facebook friends range from folks you've known for years to the stupid DJ on the local radio station who was giving out tickets to that concert you wanted to see but not actually pay for.  I'm popular - and I've got the stats to prove it!

As for me, I'm right in the middle of the pack, then as now.  I didn't get all the Valentines, but I got the good ones.  I don't have the most Facebook friends in the world, but I dig all the ones I have.  Quality over quantity represent!

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