A FEW YEARS AGO, Valentine’s Day came and went without causing so much as a ripple in my calm world. I don’t put much stock in made-for-Hallmark holidays, so I wasn’t particularly blue that I received not one card, phone call, or flower, let alone a silky cami, like those in the newspaper ads the preceding week. Truth be told, I didn’t send anyone a Valentine’s token either. Even when I was half of a couple, I never understood why it was the man’s job to shower his lady with heart-shaped jewelry, chocolates, or sexy underwear.
Back in the Dark Ages, when I was in sixth grade, however, I felt otherwise. Not, of course, about receiving sexy underwear but about collecting as many valentines as did the popular girls in the class. In the past, just as today, kids didn’t give a card to only one person, but to several people, girls as well as boys. Some kids gave them to the whole class.