Back when I was in grade school, Feb. 14 was the most nerve-wracking day of the year. Just before the lunch break, our classroom became a free-for-all as kids raced around placing Valentines on the desks of anyone they deemed worthy.
It was great fun when you were 7, but increasingly angst-filled as you got older and V-Day started to matter. By the time I was 10 or 11, there was a lot riding on Valentine’s Day and the pressure-packed ritual that was the card exchange.
Could you safely slip a tender message into the card intended for your heart’s desire, without your crush being ignored, spurned or — worst of all — exposed in a wail of cruel giggling?
Would there be any coy reciprocal messages in your little bundle of V-cards? And if so, what did they mean? Was there a romantic subtext in that handwritten “I am glad your are my friend” note, or perhaps a sly invitation in that “let’s be friends” comment with the “i” dotted with a tiny heart?
And, of course, there was the terrifying prospect that you might in fact not receive any cards at all and spend the rest of your life roiling in shame. Ahh, Valentine’s Day!
I think the schools have done away with that ritual because of its potential to crush the spirits of anyone who comes out on the losing end of the valentine-card shuffle. Instead, (in our schools, at least) Valentine’s Day protocol requires children to give cards to all their classmates.
That takes the excitement out of the occasion, and the heartbreak too. Which is probably for the best: no heart left behind, right?
Nowadays, I’m no longer neurotic about Valentine’s Day although I still race to my
mailbox inbox each Feb. 14 to see who might have sent something. Of course, at my age it’s usually just exes and advertisers!
Thanks to my affiliation with Lingerie Talk, though, this year I’ve had a ton of V-cards. Alas, none of these were personally intended for me. I’m just on a lot of mailing lists.
We put together this gallery of lingerie V-cards and messages from brands or retailers that we either received or pulled from our Facebook feed. Some lingerie brands just post product shots or sale announcements, but others use the occasion to create messages that are cute, clever or just plain touching. (The image above is from Brulee‘s V-Day post.)
I know that all of these cards have been sent out to massive mailing lists, but it’s Valentine’s Day, so I’m still taking it personally. And I reserve the right to blush.