Once I had a secret love…and so begins the song and a memory of Valentine’s Day long ago.
Every time I hear Doris Day sing that tune, I think back to when I was thirteen and had a huge crush on a boy at school. Although I was shy I wasn’t very subtle about my admiration for him. I’d make sure I was seated close to him in just about every class. I’d drop books and pencils so he’d have to pick them up and hand them to me and we’d get into conversation. I’d ask him about homework we’d been assigned… yeah, not too subtle and I think pretty soon everyone knew I had this thing for him.
To this day I’ve never been sure if my parents knew about my crush, but that year on Valentine’s Day a card arrived in the mail. I grew up in England where it was customary to remain anonymous when you sent a V-Day card.
So on the table at breakfast sat a red envelope hand addressed to me. My parents looked eagerly at it and then over at me as I sat down and grabbed it.
Well, aren’t you going to open it? My mom asked me.
Her eagerness did raise some suspicion but yes, I did want to know who’d sent it. I tore open the envelope, pulled out a card with the words Happy Valentine’s Day from your secret admirer written on it. Inside were some words like I’ve been watching you from afar etc., etc. No name, but just an X on the bottom of the card.
I can still see the smiles on my both my mom and dad’s faces as I read it. I knew I was blushing by the burn on my cheeks.
Did you send me this? I asked them.
Why would we want to do that? was my mom’s quick response.
They quickly got back to eating their breakfast. And at school that day I had the envelope with me so I could compare the writing on it to the guy’s I had the crush on. Completely different so I spent most of the day looking around to see if I could find the matching handwriting or if it had been meant as a practical joke, someone with a smile on their face.
I never did find my secret admirer and for years to come I’d keep asking my parents if they’d played a joke on me and sent it. They kept denying it, and to this day I still don’t know who my secret admirer was or maybe still is!
We all have lots of special memories about Valentine’s Day past but I think this one will always be up there in my top ten. Hope your Valentine’s Day is a memorable one too and that you get to spend it with your special someone.
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