Whatever happened to …

… Valentine’s Day?

Growing up, this was a puzzle. Is it Valentine’s Day or is it St. Valentine’s Day. I remember going to the library at the time and doing some research about St. Valentine. It’s not a pleasant story.

Valentine’s Day was always a big deal at my school. I can remember decorating little paper bags and then taping them to the side of the desk. For the day, Mom would have bought one of those 30 packs of Valentine’s Day cards. We’d separate them and then carefully go through the class deciding who would get which card. This was really important; you didn’t want to mess up. At the end of the day, I’d take them home and re-read them.

Later, as a secondary school teacher, I kind of did the same thing. For my homeroom, there was a card for every student and one of those little plastic cases of cinnamon hearts. For my classes, you could get the hearts by the big bag and so I’d laid out a bowl as they came into class. Even the coolest kids took a handful. Imagine trying to do that these days!

But this is 2021. Not all schools in the province are even open to celebrate in a traditional manner. Even the ones that are do it at a social distance and my insiders tell me that card sharing wasn’t happening. The ultimate indignity is that Valentine’s Day is not even on a school day.

But Valentine’s Day is for lovers. I’ve actually had only a single person as a girlfriend and later as a wife for Valentine’s Day. It’s been for a lot of years and we’ve always tried to do something special for the two of us. Usually, it means something chocolatey, some flowers, and going out for supper.

As luck would have it, this popped up in my Facebook memories yesterday from last year. We went out for Mexican food at Chicano’s in town. Now, before you think I’ve gone all sappy , I bought the Gerber Daisies (her favourite) but the signage and other things including the strategic placement of the restaurant menu are from my daughter.

No photo description available.
No photo description available.

Things are going to be different this year. Restaurants are closed as is the flower store in town. I could have gone through the grocery store and grabbed some flowers and a chocolate bar or two but then something neat happened …

In town, there’s a Frozen Yogurt store that is normally closed for the winter but they have a special product for the day.

May be an image of one or more people and text

But, as luck would have it, we were walking the other day and she suggested that we just skip Valentine’s Day this year. Yikes. I had to pre-order this stuff. It was going to be there for me. To drive another stake into the concept, I have to pick it up Saturday between 10 and 12. Where do you hide frozen gifts on the 13th to give on the 14th?

For today, how’s Valentine’s Day going to be in your world?

  • do you have any memories of Valentine’s Day in your own personal school days?
  • were you able to celebrate with your own students this year? How?
  • do you have any special things that you do with family every year?
  • are you celebrating with your significant other this year or have you taken a pass and blamed it on COVID?
  • is takeout a suitable substitute for going to a restaurant?

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

And, have a Happy Valentine’s Day, however you spend it.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

9 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …”

  1. Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal for me. My parents never really celebrated it. My step-dad often gives my mom a present a day before or after Valentine’s Day to say, “I love you just as much on any day of the year.” My mom’s birthday is actually a few days after Valentine’s Day, so I guess there was always something to celebrate nearby.

    Valentine’s Day was not a favourite day of mine as a teacher, although I did kind of love our card distribution space for the past couple of years — adunsiger.com/2020/02/15/sinking-the-watch-but-not-the-day-valentines-day-done-differently/. This physical closeness could no longer happen. Many schools did things differently this year for Valentine’s Day. Some let kids bring in cards a few days early to quarantine before giving out. Paper does not need to be quarantined technically, although I don’t know how to distribute cards from a 2 m distance. Maybe it was like a game of “toss the card into the bag.” Maybe people did it outside, although with the cold this week, it would be a challenge to keep the card bags standing up and gloves off long enough to hand anything out.

    We did this Virtual Valentine’s Day instead, when our school put a pause on the day — twitter.com/avivaloca/status/1358133773519499267?s=21. I might like it even better than the real thing, although at this point, nobody has made or uploaded cards to share. But we did look at some heart artists in class, including Jim Dine’s work, made some cards for family members at home, and even explored Kusama’s obliteration art to create Valentine’s Day boxes. A few kids also got into some flower art mid-week, which was quite wonderful. oslerk.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/category/daily-shoot/ So the day wasn’t the same as always, but it was quite calm and on a day that Paula was away. This Valentine’s Day Grinch was happy. 🙂

    As for your frozen yogurt conundrum, what about a snow bank storage? Would that keep it cold enough? Maybe you could celebrate early, as my parents often did. Good luck! Excited to read about other Valentine’s Day memories.

    Aviva

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  2. I’m laughing here. Our house is ground zero for animal life. Birds, rabbits, etc. are all frequent visitors so I’m not sure a snowbank storage would have been appropriate.

    Instead, I took your other suggestions and gifted it yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By gifting it yesterday, you technically followed your wife’s rule to not exchange Valentine’s Day gifts. Another win perhaps. 🙂

      Aviva

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And the truly bizarre thing was that she broke the rules and I got a nice bottle of Wolf Blass Shiraz. My favourite wine. My personal thought was that it was more important this year to do something than ever. When every day blends into every other day, it was nice to make this one stand out.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t ever make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day with my husband. I am also of the opinion that it’s just another day. I did, however, order a fancy charcuterie board from a local vendor for the two of to share. I like getting Valentine’s Day things for the girls (especially this year- I find myself making a bigger deal out of any little holiday). I ordered homemade treats and ballon as from local vendors as well Tervis cups and really decals. (Trying to get as many things local as way to support the community as have a little treat). Another mom organized a Valentine’s exchange for my daughter’s Grade 4 class and all the siblings. The kids were over the moon to get little treats and cards from their friends this year. Already thinking about St. Patrick’s day and what we might do….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s nice to hear too, Beth. Like I said earlier, it’s nice to make this day stand out at least for this bizarre year. I can’t help you out immediately – my immediate St. Patrick’s thoughts aren’t appropriate for Grade 4!

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