Valentine’s Day, growing up, was not so much about love as it was about popularity.
It was about who received the most Valentine’s Day cards because that gesture confirmed your popularity. Don’t get me wrong, obviously those individuals who received the most cards typically had many love struck admirers. The admiration was mostly one-side, even as far back as kindergarten, but all we (little girls) ever wanted back then was to collect the most Valentine’s Day cards.
During my elementary school days my friends and I entered the “I hate boys” part of our early childhood. We thought boys were useless and smelled funny. We did not want their attention, their smiles and snickers, lack of manners, scraped elbows and knees or cowlicks. But we did look forward to receiving the biggest and best Valentine’s Day card from each one of them on the one day of the year. The size of the card was a dead giveaway as to who cherished you the most. Then we could go on hating them the next day.
Looking back we can deduct that we used our subliminal female persuasion/strategy to encourage boys’ attention by using the hate tactic. In our often-frilly dressed mode we initiated visual interest in our male classmates. It was an unspoken fun game of cat and mouse. Teasing from an older brother about the boys who liked me made me hate these creepy boys even more.
By the time we hit junior high our popularity was high and Valentine’s Day cards were only expected from a special someone--or two. By the time we entered high school that was narrowed down to one-- or two. So the story goes that you only have one soul mate for life, but it is the process of looking that can bring a lifetime of Valentine memories.
We often look back and laugh at the psychology we often used on those little boys who were clueless. Yes, we must admit that we played many mind games early in life and it all seemed to come natural to us.
Later in life with our emotions alive and well, we sought our soul mates--the love of our lives. Many of us settled down with our high school sweethearts or met someone years later. Others would be single forever. Some have lost their loved ones and some have divorced. Others have remarried, but one thing is clear. Love is real and our life is nothing without it. So in honor of that special emotion profess your love for that special someone on Valentine’s Day and everyday.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Pauline Rivera is publisher of La Voz and can be reached at email@example.com.