Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Boring Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day.
Or Singles' Awareness Day (S.A.D.) if you believe it's a government conspiracy to force us to spend money.
In elementary school, Valentine's was fun. The parent volunteers would bring in soda and heart shaped sugar cookies we'd eat on pink napkins. Everybody would bring a box decorated to look like a football field or a pink giraffe and we'd distribute thiry or so cards, each one with a piece of candy I'd eat over the next few weeks. Or the next few hours. We'd play love themed games with more candy as a prize and match up names of famous cartoon couples-Minnie and Mickey, Cinderella and Prince Charming.
Then I got into middle school and everything crumbled.
A few boys came dressed up, but none of them were people who wouldn't do it on a regular day.  Some girls were walking around with roses or fluffy teddy bears. Teachers wrote out Happy Valentine's Day on the board. And the number one topic of conversation was whether or not we'd have a dance.
Last year we got a new principal. He had been assistant principal at the rival of the high school we feed into. He had no idea how things worked at our school. He decided dances were "distracting" and "disruptive". Meaning people have to retake a few quizzes because we held the dances durnig seventh and eighth period.
We did get one dance before Christmas, but not because of the rather important holiday. It cost us $12,000. The students, not the taxpayers. Basically the deal was if we raised $12,000 dollars for Sub for Santa, he'd book a DJ. We raised over $16,000 the year before. Fox news came to the conclusion assembly with cameras. Which would be pretty cool if they hadn't gotten our school's name wrong and somehow managed to turn it into a cancer awareness story.
But this time, we had no dance. Everybody was hoping and speculating and wishing until ten minutes into seventh period, when my biology teacher announced we'd spend the rest of class watching a video about the Galapagos islands.
No dance. No celebration. No precious little memories of Valentines to carry with us into middle age. Instead, we watching iguanas crawl across lava rock. Not that I have anything against iguanas, but middle school is boring enough. To they have to suck out the meager joy we siphon from a national holiday?
Here's what I never quite understood. Most drivers are adults. Adults vote on officials to make decisions on how to pave roads. Adults serve in the military. Adults vote on a president to make important military decisions. Adults drink and smoke and chew tabacco. Adults vote on laws to regulate drug use.
Teenagers go to middle school. Adults choose how to run them.

Don't ask how all these lines got here. I really don't know. My computer is acting odd.

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