Of all the unimportant holidays, Valentines Day is surely the most important. Put up against Secretaries Day, Valentines Day is like a pillowcase filled with bricks against a hair net filled with barf. Compared to Valentines Day, Grandparents Day IS barf. Flag Day? Flag Day is like barf and Valentines Day eats the barf. Columbus Day, Arbor Day, Canada Day? Valentines Day makes them barf, eats all the barf, pukes it up again, re-eats it and barfs it down their throats.
Now, I’m not trying to say Valentines Day is perfect; nothing is and we all know it. When I was in 7th grade, I had a crush on a girl named Roxanne. For Valentines Day, we were supposed to get a partner and make a Valentines Day presentation. Of course, I wanted Roxanne to by my partner. She had a nasal voice and huge braces, but I still loved her. When I asked to be her partner, she said she was already Randy Boheimie’s partner. That made me confused because I knew they didn’t get along. Randy was hyper and threw plastic filmstrip containers at her. As the rest of the class was, or seemed to be partnered up, the teacher told me that I didn’t have to do it, that I could be a judge and decide who’s presentation best.
But the night before the presentation, a miracle happened. Roxanne called me, and said she wanted to be my partner. She had nothing done and was in a panic. I was elated. She said that she never should have chosen Randy as her partner. She said he never did any work and wouldn’t stop touching her hair. Then, my fingers got tingley and I had a hot feeling when she said that she had a crush on me.
I was amped up and good to go. I volunteered to do all the work because of how Randy screwed Roxanne over and because I loved her short hair and fuzzy turtleneck sweaters. We discussed what to do over the phone. I would come up with idea, bring the props in and we’d go over it real quickly in the morning.
Ah, but I already had the idea all worked out in my head. I would make a valentine out of my Saturn 5 model rocket. And where the letters, U. S. A. were vertically painted on the side so we could watch patriotically as it rise up past the cameras, I would paint R. O. X. A. N. N. E. on mine. My theme would be “Valentines Day In Outer Space” and I’d play “Rocket Man”, lift the rocket up with fishing line up to a Styrofoam moon, where astronauts were exchanging valentines. For hours, I labored. I had to stop from exhaustion and ran out of time before I could figure out how to make real smoke come from the engines.
The next day, I happily strode into school. I had “Rocket Man” on cassette, my moon with astronauts (they were just army men painted white, with candy hearts glued to them), and most important, my Saturn 5 adorned with the name of my love poorly stenciled on it’s side.
I saw Roxanne in the hall and immediately, I approached her. “Are you ready?” I said. “For what?” she responded.
A TERRIBLE hot feeling swept from my legs up through my head.
“To practice our presentation.” I said. “But I’m doing mine with Randy, what are you talking about?”
I had no idea what was happening. Did she lie to me? Was she tricking me? Did she change her mind again?
I sat through class, and had to watch all the other presentations and finally the one Roxanne did with Randy. It was called “The King of Hearts”. Randy wore a crown, robe and passed out candy hearts taped to playing cards. In my rage, I judged “An Old Tyme Valentines Candy Shoppe” to be the best presentation.
Two other boys from class suppressed laughter all day. It turned out that they had called me and pretended to be Roxanne. I had borne my heart to what I thought was Roxanne. “She” had even asked my to be her boyfriend on the phone. I said yes.
I took the Saturn 5 with her name on it to a park and shot it into the air.
I didn’t bother to see where it came down.