[February, 1990] Valentine’s Day: Guess What Happened?
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and guess what happened? Mitchell gave me a bracelet! It’s so beautiful! I’m wearing it now. It has a thin gold chain with a heart on it studded with diamonds. I absolutely love it.
I remember being in class that day, and wondering whether Mitch would acknowledge it in any way. I don’t know elementary school dating conventions in this day and age, but 20 years ago, going on two dates in the sixth grade practically meant you were going steady. At least, that’s what it meant to my possibly-deluded 12-year-old self. Even so, I didn’t want to get my hopes up that Mitch would do anything romantic, because he seemed generally shy of showing any public displays of affection (considering that 99% of the time we spent together was in public, I should have seen this as a potential problem).
The school day finished uneventfully, and I resigned myself to the fact that my Valentine’s Day would be nothing special.
I was on my way home, just passing the school yard, when someone came running up behind me.
He probably said something like “I got this for you” when he gave me the bracelet. I probably thanked him.
I held it tightly in my hand until I came home and then put it on. The heart shifted around my skinny wrist when I wore it, so I frequently adjusted the chain until I could see the “diamonds” glimmer in the light. Sometimes I put the bracelet around the neck of the puppy Mitch had given me, so that it looked like the stuffed animal had a fancy collar. But mostly I wore the hell out of it, pleased to have received jewelry on Valentine’s Day, which seemed a terribly romantic and grown-up gesture.
No, they weren’t real diamonds, nor did I believe they were, but I had never been given such a beautiful gift from a boy before in my entire life (unless you count that Tiffany tape, which I don’t).
That day, I felt like Molly Ringwald at the end of a John Hughes movie, triumphing in a happy ending after so many disappointments. It wouldn’t last (it rarely does), but I had that moment of surprise and joy, and that was enough to carry me for a little while.