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2002-02-11 - 9:01 a.m.

An Early Valentine’s Day Story

I told him I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day – him, they, them. It didn’t matter who. My line was always the same. I always told the same dramatic story. I said that my parents’ second divorce became final the day before Valentine’s Day – Friday the 13th. That was 1984, or maybe 1985. I don’t remember much of that time, and hardly anything of the second courting, or of the second marriage. I just remember that my dad was around a lot more all of a sudden. By Thanksgiving, they were married – a small Catholic ceremony. I wonder if my Jewish father gritted his teeth every time the priest said “Jesus.” Less than a year and a half later, the divorce became final.

Valentine’s Day was on a Saturday that year; I do remember that. I was in the seventh grade, and it was a gray somber day. The house was quiet and cold, and I drew wobbly hearts on lined paper and slipped them under everyone’s closed door.

I like to think that it is a good story, but it is more likely just a good excuse.

So I told him the story. It was two and a half weeks since our first kiss; we had been inseparable ever since. He bought me a box of chocolate chip cookies, my favorite kind, for Valentine’s Day; he had to go to three different stores to find them.

I wanted to be mad. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, I wanted to say. I smiled instead. And I kissed him.

The End

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