Don’t Forget To Show Love

I was searching for something on the shelf in the bedroom closet, but as usual things came tumbling down as I tried to extract one small container. As I picked everything up to put back in place, there sat an empty shoe box. For some reason, I like to keep a shoe box around. They make a good place to stash greeting cards or mementos from the grandkids.

So here was a sturdy shoebox void of any contents. I could not recall what shoes used to reside inside but it wasn’t important at this point. And then I got to thinking about the conversation shared in the newsroom this week about Valentine’s Day and the importance of a good shoebox.

We talked about our own childhood experiences making Valentine boxes to take to school. In my school, we had to bring enough of those sweet, sappy Valentines to share with everyone in the classroom, including the teacher if you wanted to gain some needed points on the report card. We weren’t allowed to bring those mean-spirited type cards or anything gross like you can find today.

Some of the more affluent kids would tape a heart-shaped lollipop to their cards, making them the darlings of the classroom. Even better were handouts of the boxes of heart-shaped candies with sayings inscribed on them. That happened in the days before sweets were off limits in the classroom celebrations.

My mother would buy Valentines in bulk for the lot of us, and then we usually fought over them. She saved shoe boxes year-round for such occasions. The boys did not want any part of those “be mine” Valentines nor “I love you” sentiments.

I remember looking at every card before I addressed it to someone in particular in the class.

You didn’t want to be too mushy with the class bully and you saved the sweetest ones for your best friends.

If you look at the Valentines in stores today, you can send any message your heart desires — good or bad. Online sites are filled with ideas for making your own cards and decorating Valentine boxes. How about a card with a brightly colored dinosaur with the message “Thank you for being my friendasaurus.” I also liked the glow stick attached to a card that says, “You light up my life.”

Our newsroom discussion circled around the idea of placing such a Valentine box in the office just for fun.

However, hints of political correctness, the #MeToo campaign and other differences quickly shot down the idea. We opted for a possible run to Tim Horton’s for doughnuts on Feb. 14. The only disagreement there would be who gets the chocolate covered doughnuts and who opts for the vanilla sprinkles.

Happy Valentine’s Day next week. Tell someone you love them. They might buy the doughnuts.

Heather Ziegler can be reached online at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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