I traditionally don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. (That I’ve been single most Valentine’s Days as an adult is a coincidence.)
But one Valentine’s Day does go down in Arleen history as the best I ever had.
I was a seventh grader with braces and glasses, in denial that I had curly hair. One morning, a few weeks before our class’s Valentine’s Day party, my homeroom teacher — Mrs. Svendsen — passed out a sheet of paper. On it was a list of every student in our class. Our instructions were as follows:
Next to each student’s name except your own, write a good quality about him or her.
And without knowing why, we did.
Which is why on Valentine’s Day, when Mrs. Svendsen handed us each a sealed envelope, we were not expecting what we found inside it.
I wonder if Mrs. Svendsen expected it to mean as much to us as it did (at least, it meant so much to me).