Cupid, draw back your bowPublished 10:31am Thursday, February 13, 2014
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Love is in the air, and I imagine it’s pretty thick (the air, that is) at most greeting card displays about now. Oh, the joys of finding just the right valentine at the last minute. But if wooing is the true intention, it’s my belief that you should move on over to the lover’s lane for mature tastes.
The chocolate aisle.
I have long held great esteem for the traditional heart-shaped box of Valentine’s candy, with its caramel crunchies, drizzled truffles, and raspberry-filled squares. I even like the coconut ones my kids sample then leave behind for the next consumer (that would be me) to finish off. It was my dad who introduced me to such confections years ago, secretly placing a box on my bedroom dresser before he left for work each Valentine’s Day, but I’m pretty certain it was what happened in 1978 that forever fixed my affection for fine chocolates.
I was 11 then and the bell had just sounded, signaling the end of recess and an important competition involving Lemon Twists. You remember those clever little skipping devices, the ones you slid over your ankles, with a big plastic lemon dangling from the end? Well, I had slipped mine off and was entering Mrs. Brewer’s math class when I noticed my classmates huddled around my desk. One by one, they each turned around to stare at me. To snicker. To point.
Fortunately, I knew just what to do in such a situation. I told my teacher.
But to my dismay Mrs. Brewer acted as if there wasn’t anything at all unusual about their actions. In fact, she decided to do bit of pointing herself – at my desk. And that’s when the crowd finally parted and I saw what was causing all the commotion.
There, lying right on top of a page of long division problems, sat the prettiest heart-shaped box of chocolates I’d ever seen, and taped to it was my name. All three letters of it.
The gift was undeniably big and bold, and under Room 2A’s florescent lighting its red foil wrapping gleamed as gaudy as Las Vegas. That’s an apt comparison, because it was obvious to all I had hit the candy jackpot. Conversation hearts couldn’t hold a candle to this declaration.
No one was more surprised than me at such a display of, well . . . I wasn’t quite sure what it was a display of. There was no note, and no one had a clue as to the identity of the secret Romeo. Even Mrs. Brewer claimed ignorance. The only two things we knew for sure were A) some young man’s wallet had taken a hit for unrequited love, and B) I would enjoy a day of sixth-grade celebrity like no other.
Perhaps that in some way explains my ongoing affair with Valentine candy, which may in turn explain why, when I recently climbed into the recliner to snuggle with my husband, he could only stand the bliss for so long.
“Can you move over just a bit,” he requested, interrupting my “hey kids, this is what real love looks like” speech. I asked him what was wrong.
“I’ll let you know when I can feel my arm again,” was all he could get out.
So maybe cards will do tomorrow after all, but I’m not making any promises about next week. We all know what will be on the clearance aisle by then. Seventy-five percent off.
Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at email@example.com