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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Flashback Wednesday: High School Valentines

Since I'm participating in Oasis for YA's "That's YAmore Blogfest" on Friday, I'm posting my flashback today.  And boy, the memory that came back to me today has got me asking, "what were we thinking?!?!"

I was in the French Club (er, can we say dork?) and every year, we had our big annual fundraiser at Valentines.  For $2 (I think) we'd pre-sell carnations.  You wrote your message on a slip of paper, which we then tied to either a pink, red or white carnation.  You didn't get to choose the color, sorry.  Then, on Valentine's Day, we'd deliver all the carnations to the recpients' 2nd period class.

Sounds good in theory and it was a big money maker.  But as if Valentine's Day isn't already frought with insecurty, we just added to it.  The carnations turned into a popularity contest.  I'm not even kidding when I say that the popular girls had enough flowers to look like they'd just won a beauty pageant or were about to walk down the aisle. In retrospect, it's obvious that the fundraiser became a way that all the kids with money could make each other look extra special.

Couple that with the anticipation of sitting in your 2nd period class wondering if your friends sent you anything this year and whether you looked foolish for hoping too much that your name would actually be called.  (My boy friend at the time was in college during my junior and senior years, so I knew I wasn't getting anything from him.)  The flowers were an outward sign of either (a) how many friends you had or (b) how much your current flame was in luv.

Don't get me wrong. I'm pretty sure getting even just a flower or two was enough to totally make my day.  But for all those kids who got nothing, the day had to suck pretty hard.  Fundraisers just shouldn't be cruel like that, should they? I mean, seriously, does high school need to be any more angsty than it already is?  Or are these moments of humilation and surprise just a part of the whole high school rite of passage?