My memories of my past are ofttimes hazy, so here I will commit this story before I forget completely.
It was mandatory for the kids in my elementary school class to exchange Valentine’s cards. Usually, they would be harmless and cute cards featuring the cartoon characters of the era. We each had to cut and paste a large envelope to hang in front of our little desks so catch all of our received cards.
Convincing my mom to take me to the store to pick out a pack of cards was a chore. Ever practical, she thought it would be easier to purchase only one, and give it to the person I liked the most. Secondarily, they were not cheap, and money for us was always tight.
I was too young to understand her meaning, I was required to give a card to everyone, so that was my intent. She bought for me a large economy pack of Valentine’s cards. Much cheaper that way.
Once safely at home, I opened the box and began to sort through the selection of cards. I immediately encountered one problem. Well, two actually.
One, I had WAY more cards then I needed.
Two, I honestly could not remember even half of the names of the students in my class.
I was extremely shy and socially awkward. Friends for me were few and far between. And so, knowing each individual student’s name was not something I needed to know.
So I had this large stack of cards and a small amount of names to use. Keeping the leftover cards for next year was unthinkable. They would be worn out and out of style for whatever was new that year.
I am also somewhat literal. I had made my mind up to use the cards, all of them. And I did.
Using what names I remembered, I spent the day writing and writing. I wrote cards for everyone, everyone that I recalled. They each received 2 or occasionally 3 cards each. And some classmates got none.
The next day, my class spent a half hour delivering their cards. We all left the classroom and one by one, went in to drop off our cards. As I did mine, I noticed how many envelopes I left empty. I shrugged.
We all filed in and began looking at our cards. I was pretty impressed that I was able to use all of my cards. Then the looks began.
The children whose names I remembered looked at their multiple cards from me, then to me sitting at my desk. I blew several little minds that day, I think. The kids who thought I was wierd before now didn’t know what to make of me.
I just didn’t get it.
At least my social ranking couldn’t fall lower.