My First Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day to my first two valentines: Tommy and Larry…wherever they are.

As a kindergartener, I chose these two friends to invite to a valentine lunch at my house. I liked them both equally but for different reasons. The plan was that we’d all go to school, and afterwards, we three would walk the block home to enjoy a feast—a complete menu spread before us, presented in a way typical of only the finest restaurants.

I envisioned a grand entrance into what could only be described as a cornucopia of shiny red hearts, cupcakes adorned with pink icing, a myriad of red, pink and white balloons, white lace paper doilies scattered about, and a dazzling array of streamers and pop-up tissue paper hearts hung strategically above the table where we would dine.

Stick Chick Valentine 2014

Tommy was the son of one of my mother’s friends, which might have been a bonus if my master plan had fallen into place. Tommy was just plain cute, a friendly boy with light brown hair that he kept neatly buzz cut, looking every bit the part of a potential husband. Dressed in his two piece suit, tie, and dress shoes, he flashed his classic smile.

Larry, by comparison wore a black suit with a white button-down shirt accented with a bright red tie. Larry had longer, dark brown hair that moved slightly whenever he moved his head quickly. He had dark brown eyes and (the clincher) overly long eyelashes that made girls swoon. I thought it likely that Larry might one day become a lawyer, based solely upon his ability to look well-tailored even at our age—a perfect candidate with his predestined income-generating ability. However, Larry was a bit shy, so I imagine that if law were his chosen profession, then trial law might have been a challenge for him.

Dressed in my fanciest girly dress, patent leather shoes, and lacy white socks, I imagined that the mere sight of me and the spread of delectable treats before them would overwhelm the two with excitement and romance, and one of them would surely offer me a proposal on the spot.

I can still picture it. The three of us sat fidgeting uncomfortably around our kitchen table, out of our kindergarten classroom element, as my mother served us mediocre-tasting chocolate covered marshmallows.  Neither one proposed, but I still remember it. You always remember your first loves.