First off, I want to sincerely thank all of you who read this blog…from those who stop by occasionally to those who visit everyday. Having said that, I just want to let you all know that I’m cutting back just a bit for now…to maybe three times a week. I have a major book project that I’ve been working on for about a year-and-a-half now, and I’m just not devoting enough time to it. It needs to move forward more quickly. Don’t worry…I’m hoping to get a new laptop soon and that will give me more freedom to write “on the go”, so perhaps then I’ll get back up to speed.
We now bring you our regularly scheduled blog entry.
Valentine’s Day…for some, it’s heavenly, for others, painful…and for many, just another day. I have to admit, it has never meant a lot to me, even back when I considered myself a hopeless romantic. Maybe it’s because of the events that transpired on Valentine’s Day when I was in fifth grade.
When you’re in grade school, you’re supposed to bring valentines for the whole class, right? We would usually decorate a big box to put them all in, and would get all excited when the teacher passed them all out. Who doesn’t like to get mail, right? Our school was no different. So there I was in fifth grade, opening one valentine after another, just reading the names on the back…when, all of a sudden, there was a valentine that had a message. It read, “Dear Rick, I really like you. Do you really like me?” The girl even had the guts to sign her name to it. I was really taken aback. I looked around the room and spotted her, but she wasn’t trying to make eye contact or anything.
I decided that perhaps it was a prank or something, so I did what any intelligent fifth grader would do…no, I didn’t ask her, I asked her best friend. She confirmed that the girl in question really did have a crush on me, and really wanted to know if I “liked” her. Well, of course I did…but only because she “liked” me. I had never been “liked” before, so I figured that’s how it worked.
The timing wasn’t great. She was going to be out of school for a couple of weeks to get some kind of surgery done on her foot. But I kept relaying messages through her friend…stuff like “I hope she gets well soon” and “Hope she’s not too bored at home”. After all, I wasn’t going to actually go SEE her or anything. We hadn’t even had our first date yet, so I figured it would be too forward.
That little dilemma was soon resolved. Her friend informed me that at the end of the second week after her surgery, she was going to go the Friday night football game. For those of you who didn’t grow up in a town of 2000 people, Friday night football games are a huge social event, not only for students, but for the whole town. I don’t know if we ever really watched the game…we just hung out, hit the concession stand about every 20 minutes, and walked back and forth behind the bleachers talking with other friends. I confirmed that I would be there, and her friend said that they would find me.
Friday night came, and as usual, I was hanging out with my friends. The game hadn’t even started yet when the girl’s friend came and found me. She said that the girl was in the car with her parents and little sister, and that she would take me there. When we got to the car, I was invited inside. What? You don’t watch a football game from a car. Yet there I was in the back seat with her and her friend, with her mom and dad and little sister in the front.
I immediately felt more claustrophobic that I ever had in my life. I had to come up with some excuse to get out of that damn car. So I babbled something about promising to meet some other friends. I asked politely if the girl could leave her parents car, even though she was on crutches. Her dad was ok with it…her mom was a little hesitant, but said it was ok as long as we were careful. I should have made a break for it right then and there, but decided to creep our way down to where my friends would be (she wasn’t too fast on those crutches).
We met up with everyone and were clowning around the way most fifth graders do. I wasn’t paying ANY attention to my “date”, and all of a sudden, I turned around and saw her hobbling back to her parents car, crying. Apparently, someone had bumped her sore foot. I was really torn…should I just stay with my friends, or see if she was alright? I chose the latter, and walked over to her parents car. Her mother rolled down the window so I could see her cradling her crying daughter, and then light into me about not being careful, and how I was supposed to watch out for her, etc. I can’t remember saying anything. I just walked away. The relationship was over, and I knew it. Ah well, might as well meet up with my friends and hit the concession stand.
I think we can all learn a lesson from this touching valentine’s story.
Trying to watch a football game from a car is just plain silly.