A painful holiday


Little less than four weeks from now, the most painful holiday of the year will be upon us once again — that holiday being Valentine’s Day, of course.

Perhaps for you, Dear Reader, the holiday of love has only brought love, but for yours truly the day has a long history of bringing something else. Did I mention it’s the holiday of pain?

Old Mrs. Crabtree was my third-grade teacher at Mt. Olive Elementary School. On Valentine’s Day she let us send cards to each other but only after they were decorated. I was in true love so on the front of my card I spread glue, covered every inch of it with little candy hearts, and then stuck Red Hots on top. I set the card on the window sill to dry.

After recess I was planning to give the card to my one and only true love – Candi Samples. Only she didn’t know she was my girlfriend yet or that I was in love with her. But she would after she got my card. Sadly, neither happened that day.

Unfortunately, Down the Street Bully Brad had a different idea for my card. He retrieved it from the window sill when we went out for recess. After knocking me down behind the giant oak tree, he forced me to eat it. That was my first painful Valentine’s Day, but it hasn’t been the last.

While growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, one of the most painful Valentine’s Days I’ve experienced was when I was 8 years old. We had collected and melted all the candles in the house to make Mom a special candle. It was special, and one neither she nor I ever forgot. Big Brother James had me hold my hand under a glass, dropped in a wick and then poured in boiling hot wax. When the glass shattered, Mom got her special candle in the shape of my right hand. I got a two-inch scar and another painful Valentine’s Day memory.

In the 12th grade, Candi was in my homeroom at Briarwood High School, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. On Valentine’s Day that year I was going to show my love by giving her a kiss. The kiss didn’t hurt, but the after-school pounding I took from her boyfriend, Preston Weston the III, sure did.

Hopefully those days of painful holidays are in the past. This year things will be different. Yesterday The Wife asked me if $400 would be too much to pay for a purse for Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of money, so I tried to change the subject and replied, “What about a toy poodle instead?”

When I asked how could anyone justify spending so much for a purse, The Wife answered, “It’s pink.” Now how could I possibly argue with that logic?

One pink Michael Kors purse soon heading this way for Valentine’s Day, and it didn’t hurt at all. Besides, I really had no choice. Everyone who reads this column who knows The Wife will want to see it. Just hope I got it in the right size. After all, Zeus, our soon-to-be new toy poodle will simply have to be carried everywhere.

I’m not committing to buying a dog, mind you, but I do have a birthday coming up soon. What a great gift! I think it should be red — my new poodle — carrying purse, of course, not Zeus. Zeus comes in either black or white and only one size – small. Being so small, perhaps we should get two?

Soon the pitter-patter of little paws from Zeus and Goliath will be heard running throughout our house. Just hope our two granddaughters, Little One and Sweet Caroline, don’t think toy poodles are actually real toys. Those girls have broken lots of toys lately, and during Christmas many Nutcrackers had to be put out of their misery due to various broken-off body parts. But none of them could growl, and they didn’t have teeth. Hopefully Zeus and Goliath will survive.

So why did I write a story about Valentine’s Day four weeks early? So no one would forget to get their loved one a gift, of course. Trust me, I did that only once. Didn’t even remember to get a card. And that, Dear Reader, was the most painful Valentine’s Day of them all.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog: storiesbyrick.wordpress.com.]