This year’s winter storm was a blessing in disguise for roughly half the population when bad weather forced many plans for the day of love to be put on ice.
One Georgia sheriff even called for a No Valentine’s Day zone for the north part of the state until things could thaw out.
But despite the sheriff’s edict being embraced by many, we women don’t want to be put off.
I think there is a Shakespeare sonnet that reads “Neither freezing rain, nor snow, nor slush, nor sleet shall keep Valentine’s Day from the hearts of women.”
A trip to the local drugstore earlier this week offered the perfect opportunity to stock up on candy and cards, and I was all set. But by the time I could get my Valentine’s cards in the mail to those far away, it was too late.
Everything had ground to a halt courtesy of Mother Nature. Being snowed in affords time to reminisce about Valentine’s Days gone by.
As a young elementary school student, I looked forward with eager anticipation to Feb. 14. Those were the days before the pressure of not having a boyfriend, and all I cared about was giving my friends at school little cards.
I loved picking out a box of cards and taking them home to sift through and find the perfect ones for each person in my class. I always wanted to make sure the box contained a big one for my teacher.
We would visit McClure’s book store or Kessler’s or maybe the drugstore in search of the perfect box of cards.
My mother would never allow me to buy ones with candy because they were too expensive. I longed to get those that had lollipops stuck in them to give, but she always set a strict budget.
Still, it was a thrill to get to choose them and get them ready for school. We would have little shoe boxes that everyone filled with the cards, and it seemed like such a big deal.
When I attended Canton Elementary, which went through the eighth grade in those days before any middle schools were built, I was never one of the popular girls who got a big, decorated box of chocolates. They went to the pretty girls like Debra Swords, Linda Edwards, Patti O’Connor and Jeannie Lathem.
I am sure I had a bit of envy for their heart-shaped boxes covered in pink satin and bought at Canton Drug Co. on the corner of fun and happy, but I was glad for my friends and loved my little boxes of conversation hearts I often received as sort of consolation prizes.
When I was 16, the boy who would become the man I would eventually marry gave me my first real Valentine’s gift, a dozen red roses. Those still stand out enough to make my heart beat a little faster even today.
Perhaps of all the Valentines before and since, that was the most special to me.
Fast forward to when my own children were in middle school, those difficult tween years. It seemed in those days at Teasley Middle School the culture was that things had to be delivered to school and they had to be just right.
I remember helping my son agonize about what to give and how much to spend.
The harder part, finding a girlfriend, he handled on his own.
We moms try to pass on the importance of Valentine’s Day and sending flowers, but sometimes the message falls on fallow ground.
Cupid’s arrows most often miss hitting men and end up zinging women. That is evidenced by the chilly reception to a delay of the day from women and the excitement it stirred up in the male population that the whole thing might just go away with the melting snow.
But the men might as well face it, we are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day whether they like it or not. The winter storm just gives us a chance to extend it to Valentine’s Week.
That sheriff in Oconee County who made the suggestion to skip it this year got a rousting cheer from the menfolk, but a much cooler reception from the wives.
One man opined “It’s the thaw(t) that counts.”
Now isn’t that just like a man.
Rebecca Johnston is editor of The Cherokee Tribune.