Happy Valentines Day!

I had the pleasure of substituting the 5th grade yesterday. We had a V-day card and candy exchange, and EVERYONE walked home with a bagful of red and pink loot. I even had a good handful of cards that I've already taped into a collage in my journal. In the morning we had a discussion on the meaning of Valentines Day and the meaning of LOVE. Deep 5th grade thoughts being exchanged.

"Why do some people hate Valentines Day?" this really cute hapa kid asked me with a bright innocent smile. I already had a crush on him. Man, If I were in the 5th grade I guarantee I would already have a wallet size picture of him in my binder and his name would be written in Pig Latin and drawn with hearts all over my binder. I can only hope he grows up to be a fine ass motherfucker who holds onto that same desire to treasure and honor what he believes love and Valentines Day is really about...

Before the party my answer was something like "I think that a lot of times people feel this pressure to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a wife or a husband or someone to give or receive Valentines stuff from that if you don't have someone then you start to feel like something is wrong with you. A lot of people don't like to feel like there is something wrong with them so they get mad at Valentine's Day, because they think that it's Valentines Day that's to blame for giving them that pressure. It's kind of like how the Grinch felt about Christmas."

The class party changed all of that. Then there was this assembly that had a performer from each K-8 class doing something related to the theme of LOVE or Valentine's Day. It was so heartwarming. How great. A roomful of people celebrating and cheering LOVE.At this stage LOVE is pure. It is genderless. Boys give boys cards without the fear of being riduculed. It is beautiful. Of course, you still "like" this boy or this girl and getting a card from that someone you like is all part of ths exciting ritual. But that Valentine card is thrown in with the other V cards from everyone else. The one and only concept hasn't begun to be emphasized yet.

I got to relive the magic. And I remembered all al once how great it used to be. Why do some people hate Valentine's Day? Well, I can tell you I used to hate love, and I used to hate Valentine's Day too. I've have been converted to the religion on LOVE for longer than four years. I believe in it as the sole source of balance, joy and fulfillment, and I've been sngle for most of my life.

Somewhere around 6th grade the parties stop, the cards become stupid and lame and your clocks to finding "the one" start ticking. If you haven't had a boyfriend or girlfriend by the 8th grade you must be retarted.

Okay, I can admit that I don't watch romantic comedies and Hollywood LOVE epics like the Titanic because I don't like Hollywood telling me that I should be in love because I already know this. so I don't watch J.Lo movies for the same reason I don't watch Survivor or TV at all for that matter. Celine Dion singing in my ear doesn't help things. And yes, I start to feel like something is wrong with me for not having...

but since I know that this is not true, I introduced this class to the importance of self love. We passed out red paper and made a Valentine card to ourselves. "Dear Me: I like you. I really really LIKE you Love always, ME."

I haven't been so jazzed on Valentine's Day, since, well probably the 5th grade. I think I "liked" someone named Ryan in the other class. I can remember asking permission to go to the other classroom to give him my card. I broke the rule to only give cards within your own class, unless of course you like like someone. And I like liked Ryan. I gave him my V card and ran out giggling. Even at 10 years old i wasn't afraid of approaching them.

Celebrate LOVE. All types of love. Valentines Day, like Christmas can be what you make it. It's intentions are good. Don't let "them" ruin it for you.