Valentine’s Day Nostalgia

From as far back as my memory allows, Valentine’s Day has consistently borne a great deal of significance to me.

In elementary school, I relished the activity of constructing a personalized “mailbox” that would allow classmates to “send” me cards and candy.

Then there was the shopping trip with my mother to select the box of cards that I would be sending out.  I have always had trouble making decisions, especially when presented with many choices.  This particular errand was a true testament to her patience as I painstakingly deliberated over the selections.

In my childish estimation, my card selection was the utmost important decision I would make in all of February, if not the entire school year!

Which design??

Did I want The Little Mermaid or Garfield?

Wait, they have ones with yellow lab puppies! And New kids on the Block!!

What did the cards say?

Did at the least one of the cards in the box communicate the precise sentiment to send (fill-in-the-blank) with whom I was currently “in love”??

In middle school, there were school fundraising efforts via candy-grams and roses; providing the opportunity to send a gift to our crush, anonymously if we so chose.


The existence of candy-gram commerce held the potential for either euphoric bliss or extreme humiliation.

The drama was three-fold:

Would my crush send me one? Does he like me back?

Would (fill-in-the blank “uncool person”) send me one?

Would no one send me one?

In high school, I had a steady boyfriend, so the holiday was celebrated with the typical, tacky stuffed animals and flowers.  Cloyingly sweet cards were exchanged, mutually declaring our never-ending love and commitment.

In undergraduate school, I worked at a privately owned Hallmark Gift Card shop.  Valentine’s Day was nearly the largest grossing day of the year, second only to Mother’s Day.  It meant big money for the store and that no one, absolutely no one, was getting any time off that week.

But it was fun and exciting being so busy in the store.  I worked with a great group of girls who became good friends; we were a close-knit group.

In graduate school, I was affianced to my now ex-husband.  During that period, I remember planning extremely elaborate celebrations.  Trying to outdo one another, our activities and gifts included scavenger hunts with clues, personalized coupon books and other special treats unique to our relationship.

In more recent eating disordered years, I looked forward to the holiday strictly for it’s “day-after sale” potential; it was an opportunity to acquire binge food (e.g. candy) for pennies on the dollar.

This year, I am not celebrating the holiday in any manner.  It’s just another day to me and I am completely at peace with that.

However, during my last shopping trip, I did have the strongest of desires to buy a box of these cards:


What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Do you love, hate or feel indifferent towards the holiday?




4 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Nostalgia

  1. Miss good ole hallmark:) I also enjoyed the busyness of this holiday there and helping poor guys find that last minute tacky gift. Your reference to the girls there made me smile….we were an awesome group. Love ya and miss ya. Been praying for you:)

    • Aw, Megan! I miss and love you too! I think of you often; I know you have your hands full with all of your babies. :-) We were great…that group could not be replicated, I tell you! It makes me laugh to think of all the customers we hustled with the “buy 3 cards” deals. Have a great weekend, my friend. :-)

  2. omg those damn effing candy grams! my crush never ever ever sent me one. i was so awkward, so of course he did not!!
    valentine’s day only means something from a holiday perspective because of my valentine gwendolyn. the day of 14 february, however, maintains a huge significance. it’s the day that started THE diet that took me to 89 pounds before i crossed the line, six months and 7 days later, into bulimia for 11 years and another 4 bad years after that leading me to TODAY… today is the first day in my life that i no longer consider myself a “disordered” eater. on my anniversary of ed. i am just independent and quirky from this point forward. love the post. thanks for the question! xo

    • Hahaha, Nicole! My crush never sent me a candy-gram either. I was so shy and self-conscious that the boys I liked didn’t know I existed!
      Interesting that 2/14 is the day you became active in disordered eating. I am glad you are experiencing freedom now. I hope to get there eventually!
      p.s. Rennie is my Valentine, too! :-) :-)

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