Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V-Day!

If there wasn't an odder holiday than Valentine's Day... After elementary school it falls off the radar, and then once you're old enough that you celebrate it again most people are either cynical of relationships or the commericalization of the holiday. And I'm sure not many of us have all that many memories of making Valentine's as children. So it might have been a challenge to do this week's contest for the Sock It To Me Twice Swap, share a memorable Valentine's Day memory. As far as the actual day is concerned, I have a very vague memory of being in elementary school and not remembering who I'd already given cards to which hardly counts, and since then I only remember one Valentine's Day. But it would happen to be one of the dearest memories I hold.
5 years ago I was a senior in high school. Valentine's Day was coming up in several weeks and I was tired of not being able to celebrate it. No boyfriends to speak of yet at that point so celebrating from that vantage point was a lost cause. So I decided to reclaim from the vantage point of my childhood. For several weeks leading up to the holiday I was hyping it like crazy. Reminding people about the holiday on a pretty much daily basis and cooking up schemes for a big celebration, most of which revolved around my french teacher Mr. A.
Now, you have to understand what a soft spot we had for him. I doubt there was a teacher that spent more time looking out for us than him. He was also our IB co-ordinator, grad committee advisor and fashion show advisor. We were constantly in his room. And we were a class of all girls except one guy. He was by far our favourite teacher. But he always liked to play this rough tough persona about hating holidays (every Christmas he'd hang a Santa by its neck from his cieling, I always said it wasn't really Christmas until it was up), so let's not get started about what he had to say about Valentine's Day.
A few days before the holiday a whole group of my friends and I got together and we made tons of decorations. Lots of cut out hearts, a heart mobile, everything bright pink and red. And all the hearts had ridiculous sayings like "Big IB thinks you're sexy" "Nothing says I love you like Monopoly". The night before V-Day we got a janitor to let us in to his room and we plastered it with decorations, heart confetti, candy hearts, you name it, we put it up. And the doorway into his room we hung heart garland all around it.
The next day on Valentines, I wore the brightest pink dress that you could possibly imagine and my tiara (which still holds a special spot in my heart). I brought all sorts of hershey's kisses to school. My friends all brought the kids Valentine's Day cards. We were giving them out all over the school.
But it was absolutely priceless on the way to first period walking by Mr A's room on my way to first period. Every day he stood in that hallway, perfectly straight, arms crossed on his chest. But that day he was surrounded by so much pink. I can only imagine what the students not in on it thought. Ofcourse it didn't take long for it to be pinpointed on me :) Then when we had french later that day, we walked into the room and announced to him that we were going to have a Valentine's Day party. We had drinks, baking, cd player, music, etc... and just started setting up. And I have to say that it's a true testament to the fondness that he had for our class that he didn't say a word and let us take over whatever class he had planned for us and let us have our party on what's probably his least favourite day of the year. We danced and danced to the cheesiest music. Best Valentine's Day party ever.
One of the best days I've had. The next day, I even had a different teacher pull me aside after class and thank me for what I did on Valentine's Day. We created a real celebration and different mood all throughout the school. This over commercialized, whatever holiday, took on something new that year. It was about fun and friendship and smiles.
And to this day, when I go to visit Mr A, he still has several of the hearts we made around his room, including one on his computer on his desk. I think that we perhaps gave him just as memorable of a Valentine's Day too...

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