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Favorite Valentine

Posted by hopsondesk@aol.com on February 11, 2012 at 3:45 AM

Paprika seasons and garnishes many dishes. It’s a powder made from grinding fragrant, sweet pepper pods. The flavor can range from mild to hot. The tough pods take several grindings to produce just the right texture.

How many lovers are too many? I’m glad you asked. Hello, dear friends. I’m the character from “Autonomy” (page 133). I’m the one who confessed my relationships and trysts without shame. At my age, what would be the point?

It wasn’t always that way. When I was a teenager, I honestly believed I’d be chaste on my wedding night. Then the Sexual Revolution came along turning my generation into the Last of The Red Hot Virgins. After the wild party began, men confused us by acting like we were prudes if we didn’t sleep with them and tramps if we did.

For today’s independent woman, I’d say you have to do what suits you. The way I see it is if a young girl is 15, one lover is too many. Sex can be too complicated and too full of emotions for someone that age to handle. If a woman is 25 and has had five lovers, I’d like to know what the rush is. Give yourself time to explore a relationship. But if you’re 60 years old and have never been married, 10 lovers are not enough. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Favorite Valentines

Yes, I’ve had many lovers. . . I’ve been wined and dined, so to speak. Saint Valentine’s Day come and go year after year. There have been flowers, dinners, champagne and chocolates. Pretentious, boring men have thought themselves impressive with rented limousines. Impressive men have given me furs and fine jewelry.

But what was my favorite Valentine of all time? I’ve always thought if a man gives a woman a dozen roses if could impress her, but a single rose would touch her heart. Too bad it loses its effectiveness when you have to “tell” men this to get them to do it.

Let’s face it; Saint Valentine’s Day is woman’s holiday. We’re the ones who gush over it. It’s the gift that makes us feel special or loved that we care most about. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It just has to give you the best smile you’ve ever had.

Andrew’s Card

My book bag contained my spelling book, my English book, my arithmetic book, my homework and something that actually made me want to go to school that cold, snowy morning. All my carefully written Valentine’s cards were neatly placed inside. There were 35 of them. I had 25 for my class, eight to take to friends in other classes, one for my sister two grades ahead of me and one for the teacher.

The school buzzed with children as equally excited as I was. Smiling teachers told us to place our cards in the boxes covered in red paper and decorated with paper hearts and lace. They probably saved the boxes from previous years since we didn’t help make them. In each classroom the boxes had a slit on top to drop the cards so the teacher could pull the lid off the box in the afternoon. That’s when we’d have punch and cookies while the teachers passed out the Valentine cards.

Usually, we were in our seats at 9:00, but on February 14, we had an extra 20 minutes. Ready to begin our lesson, the students were all surprised when the teacher said, “Andrew brought a card so big that it won’t fit into the opening of the box. So I’m going to put it under the box.”

Our mouths fell open as we all turned to look at Andrew squirm in his seat. “Who’s it for?” We wanted to know. Andrew looked at the floor.

“Oh, I’m not telling,” Mrs. Powell, the teacher said. “You’ll have to wait until the party this afternoon.”

“Awww.” We wanted to know about the card right away.

“If anyone looks under the box, he or she will be in big trouble,” the teacher said.

Well, that was enough for our third grade class. Mrs. Powell went on with the lesson, but I could hardly concentrate. Who could that big card be for? I wondered. I hadn’t seen Andrew talking to any girl in particular. He wasn’t all smiley or up in anyone’s face. Who could he like that much?

We still had neighborhood schools back then, so when I went home for lunch (and my mommy fix), I told my mother about the huge card that grew even bigger in my mind.

She asked, “Do you think it’s for you?”

“Oh no, Andrew doesn’t like me. I don’t know who it’s for. But it’s for somebody he thinks is really special.”

After lunch we had to get through more lessons before the party. Unbearable suspense made it impossible to learn that afternoon. When would I know the name of the girl on the envelope of the big card?

Finally, at 2:15 our books closed, the cafeteria ladies brought the cookies and punch into the room and the party began. Mrs. Powell began passing out the cards in the box first. We smiled and thanked one another, and since I knew Andrew didn’t like me anyway, for a short while I forgot about the big card under the box.

Then someone said, “Hey, wait a minute. What about the big card under the box? The one Andrew brought.” Everyone said, “Yeah, we wanna know who gets that card.”

The teacher pretended she forgot and said, “Oh, there is one more card under the box. It’s the one everyone’s been asking about.”

We all turned and looked at Andrew. Once again he looked shyly at the floor, giving us no clue.

Mrs. Powell had the card in her hand. The class went silent. It seemed like she walked in slow motion closer and closer she came and stopped at my desk and placed the card in front of me. I was the special one who got the card.

Everyone gathered around my desk as I carefully opened it. It had a yellow duck holding a red heart, saying, “Valentine, I think You’re Just Ducky.”

All this happened in 1958, and I still have that card. It was the best Valentine ever, because it touched my heart like none other.

Please Note: The above is an expression of opinions and not professional advice. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes. You are solely responsible for the use of any of the content and Jewel Hopson is not responsible for any event or claim.

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