this goes out to all the elementary kiddos

In elementary school, Valentine's Day was tricky, man.

First you had to pick out some cool cards. Early on it didn't matter: you liked Barbies, go for the Barbie cards.

Disney Princess was your thing? Bring on Belle:


When you got a little older though, like 3rd or 4th grade, you didn't want all your cards to be super girly, or they had to be something that was IN. For example, these Power Ranger cards would have been perfect! [And I probably received approximately 72 of these in elementary]: 


After picking the perfect set of cards, you had to create "the box." It had to be creative, yet you wanted it to be fairly low key. [Not like today when the more outrageous the creation, the better.] Maybe a few stickers here and there, some paint-- make it look nice without being too gaudy. Done. 

The real kicker though, for elementary girls anyway, was the actual addressing of the valentines. Man, this got tricky. Take these cards for example [Thank you, "Doug"]. I will refer to the top card as "card 1", Quail man as "card 2", and the bottom as "card 3." :


Card one was a dangerous card. Sure, it had a fun play on words-- knight, night…haha, clever-- But there are LOTS of hearts, and Doug and Patti are clearly swooning. If you really had a crush on Henry, you couldn't POSSIBLY give him this card because he might actually think you liked him. If Shawn had a crush on you, you couldn't POSSIBLY give him this card because he might actually think you returned his sentiments. If Larry sat next to you, you couldn't POSSIBLY give him this card because it would just be awkward. You also couldn't give this to your best friend, because it doesn't express your friendship with her and you want her to have one of THE BEST cards in the entire box, or at least one of the two cards that were 4X6 in size [the other one OBVIOUSLY had to go to your teacher]! So you have to settle and give card number one to Amber-- you're friends, but not super close. Perfect. 

Card number two was a safety card. You gave any card that used the word "friend" to the guy you actually had a crush on. 

Card number three would be good for just about anyone else in the class, the problem was you needed 10 of these cards and there were only two in the box. 

See? It was all about strategy. 
But then, what if you got a box of cards that had one like this: 

Oh Animaniacs! Didn't they know that there were SO FEW people you could actually give a "KISS ME!" card to! Yikes.

It seems that Lisa Frank always pulled through with "safe" cards though:


But again, once you got a little older, though her neons were still pretty stellar, it just wasn't cool to give a guy a Lisa Frank card. But shhhhhh, you still wrote his name on your "cool" valentine with a Lisa Frank pencil, which you took out of your Lisa Frank pencil bag, which you stored in your Lisa Frank trapper keeper, so win-win. 

I know you were like me and had some Berenstain Bear cards in your day. Here is a little test for you, to see if you could have survived being a girl, addressing valentines, in the 90s. Which of these four Valentines would be the MOST dangerous to give your crush? The LEAST dangerous?: 


If you're like me, the least dangerous would be the cards on the left, the top left in particular. The cards on the right are a little more explosive, and should be handled with care. Though the top one seems to be saying, "Hey you! Let's be Valentines!" They are just hanging out and catching frogs…so not as dangerous. However, the one on the bottom right? They are HOLDING HANDS!!! AHHH. DANGER! DANGER! Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT give this to the boy you like! 

Guys had it easy though. They would just pick up a box of these bad boys, slap on their classmates names in alphabetical order and call it good. 

If you have to go back though [ya know, cause time travel],  I would recommend sticking with Disney. You usually got good variety, and had plenty "safe" cards to counteract the dangerous ones. 

However, if you're not time traveling, and you are an elementary kid now? 
I'm sorry. Pinterest has arrived and you are now expected to be super creative:


But really, let's be honest-- elementary guys notice ONE thing when they tear into their boxes: Starburst! A pack of gum! SKITTLES! SCORE! 

[and let's be honest, this post really goes out to all the parents and teachers that oversee this sugar-crazed disaster of a day we let our kids celebrate.
and to dentists everywhere.]
post signature


Anonymous said...

Ugh! I remember several botched Valentines' Days because I waited until the last minute to pick out my valentines and well pickings are slim the night before they're due. I can recall one horrible year where this happened (Power Rangers for everyone!) and also using the alphabet approach to save time. Big mistake times two. I had more than one weird look cast my way the next day at school. It was terrible.

Looking back on it I wonder if all that Valentines Day/Singles Awareness Day weirdness that you encounter from oh, I don't know, middle school on isn't from horrible experiences like that in elementary school.

*carrie* said...

Hilarious and so true! I definitely remember searching for "safe" cards--and same with candy heart messages.

Ha--my word verification is chocolates with a heart next to it. Happy Valentine's Day!