Monday, February 14, 2011

Everything that's wrong in the world. A special LOVE edition of LGBG.

I have spent the last 48 hours desperately looking for a letter sent home by a teacher several years ago regarding Valentine's Day so that I could tell the internet about it... I've instead found my birth certificate, my sister's 10th grade report card and an overdue bill from the milk man so I will have to recreate it here for you from memory.

Disclaimer: The teacher was a  lovely woman in every way and a perfectly wonderful, engaging, charming educator.

Disclaimer disclaimer: But obviously had issues.

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer: Also, she looks exactly like a waitress at the pub around the corner so every time I go get a beer I remember this story.

It went something like this.

Dear Parents,

As Valentine's Day approaches, I would like you all to talk to your children about being especially careful of other's feelings.  Many children dream about Valentine's Day being a day to express their affection for someone special. Sadly though, other children use it as an opportunity for cruelty! They might purposely avoid giving a Valentine to someone...or even...send a Valentine with a negative message.

(Right about here is when I said, "Huh? Really? Freaking dreaming about it?" "opportunity for cruelty? OPPORTUNITY? For CRUELTY?" Also... do they even make valentines with negative messages? What are they? Scooby Doo looking at Shaggy and saying "Dude, you reek like bong water and van mattress, take a shower, a-hole." I almost crumpled the letter up right there, but I forged ahead. Because I am a good parent.)  

I speak from experience. I remember a particularly horrible Valentine's Day in my own elementary school years when one student had a "crush" on another and when her feelings were not returned by the object of her affection she was teased mercilessly and cried on the playground for an entire recess.

(Hmmm. You seem to remember this in great detail. Almost as if it had happened to someone rather close to you. So, what happened? You brought in homemade cookies and a dozen roses to the math teacher and he told you he was 30? And married? To a dude? Or was it that your evil twin who is now a cocktail waitress around the corner wrote you a mean valentine and read it in front of the class? Something along the lines of "Mommy says I'm the pretty one and you're going to end up alone?")

For that reason, please have your child bring enough valentines for the entire class, and do not put a "to" name on them OR a "from" name. This way, everyone will get equal attention from all members of the class and no feelings will be hurt.


Your Child's Miserably Lonely to this Day Teacher

And that right there is why the Japanese are getting ahead.

I don't actually know what that means.

But I do know that in 1977 I would've been particularly thankful to have a teacher like this, because instead of an anonymous Holly Hobbie or Mickey Mouse card, I got a creepy big lumpy envelope from a chubby freckled kid. Inside was the kind of card you'd buy your grandmother, all covered in plastic with a photograph of flowers and some gooey poem about love. On the interior, he'd taped an Avon necklace. My stomach hurt for three weeks and I almost quit school. But I didn't make him cry on the playground.

Because I believe in love.

Also recess.

I don't actually know what that means either.


  1. From now on I think I'll just throw "And that's why the Japanese/Chinese/Indians are getting ahead" into random conversation. :)

    You make me laugh!

  2. Good lord, I didn't think the "for a friend" letters and comments were anything other than a joke. I mean, who would get so tied up in Valentine's Day at elementary school that they'd cry for a whole recess. I mean, I KNOW a kid who did that once. *shifty-eyed* He was a friend.

    I have to go now.

  3. For the elementary-school crowd, Valentine's Day can be the cruelest day of the year.

    Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything. *cough*

  4. Oh em about obvious issues.

    Sheesh. Did she have no one to bounce this off of first??????

    Still, makes for a pretty great post. So, thanks to her for that.

  5. No "To", No "From". And the kids feel so really special receiving these anonymous "special" cards.
    Be sure to carefully put the cards away for next year, they'll be good as brand new.

  6. This totally reminds me of the time, twenty something years ago, that you convinced me to give a rose to my 7th grade crush on Valentines day. Later, I saw a group of kids surrounding her- laughing and ripping it up.
    Yeah, Valentine's day is lame- kids are jerks- and sorry ladies, you're getting a potted plant for V-day. Benny don't do roses.



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