Each Valentine’s day it seems appropriate to reflect upon one’s first experience of true love. Some wonder how you can know for sure-know if it’s true love I mean. For me there was no doubt.
It was in Mrs. McCoy’s sixth grade class-second floor end of the hall-that I first discovered I had a girlfriend. Her last name began with an M and mine with an S so due to the complex alphabetical configuration of our classrooms, all through elementary school, we sat next to each other.
I first realized that she was my girlfriend at the Valentine’s party. The previous week, Mrs. McCoy gave us an assignment. We were to find an old shoebox and decorate it for our class celebration. Characteristically, I forgot about the assignment until just after breakfast on the morning it was due. Fortunately, I found an old shoebox in my parent’s closet and one heart shaped candy under a sofa cushion. Arriving at school I asked Mrs. McCoy if I might procure and item in the art closet. Because I’d been able to use the vocabulary word from that very week she said, “ Why yes Bobby, you may procure it.” I ran to the closet, grabbed one little gunk of paste, and stuck the heart shaped candy to my box.
Only then did I notice that my classmates’ shoeboxes were decorated with shiny foils, curled ribbons, cut out hearts and Cupids. Mine, on the other hand, displayed a very attractive factory printed likeness of Buster Brown and his dog. Over the dog’s face, I had glued my heart shaped candy displaying in capitol letters the words “EAT ME”. (I understand this particular slogan has since been discontinued.) Following the pledge of allegiance, the girl across the isle gave me a candy of her own that said, “BE MINE”. Without missing a beat I reached into my box, grabbed another and passed it back to her. It said, “OK”.
We were too young to really be boyfriend and girlfriend-too young to even hold hands, but the Beatles were singing about that very thing and reflecting our feelings precisely. There was no doubt in my mind. It was true love.
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