|'Mike Loves Debbie' was etched into a rock at|
Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky. I guess this picture
would have been more appropriate if Mike had
had a crush on Debbie instead of me.
When I was in 2nd grade, a boy named Mike Kline made me a valentine. It was beautiful. He had drawn the two of us on the front of the card and wrote inside, “Valentine, sometimes you just can’t help love.”
I’d noticed a small crowd huddled around his desk as he drew it. I may have even seen them looking over at me. But that didn’t change the surprise I felt when my little friend Debbie walked the card over to me and said it was from Mike. Everyone was watching me. I was mortified.
I glanced at the card and then stuck it in my desk and pretended it never happened. My face was red. I felt near tears. It was the worst thing that could have happened to a painfully shy girl like me. As soon as I had the chance, I tore the card in half and threw it away. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Mike; I’d never really given him much thought, period. But I couldn’t get past the embarrassment of having the entire class witness this event.
If I had a Valentine Do-Over, I’d go back to that day. Of course I’m older and wiser now, and can appreciate the courage it took for Mike to make a special valentine for me. I wonder if he ever took a chance like that again? On my Valentine Do-Over, I’d thank him, consider whether I liked him back, and be flattered. Then I’d save that Valentine card as a fond memento of my childhood.