Being the only child that I am, my parents always got me a present for Valentine’s Day.
Like the white transistor radio that I listened to in the forts made out of a blanket draped over the coffee table in the den. The fort that I forced Fritz, our weiner dog, to sit in with me.
That was in first grade, the year I had mumps on Valentine’s Day and missed the party at school. I had decorated my shoebox with red foil paper and valentine stickers and my mom had helped me cut a slit in the top so that all the kids in my class could go by and deposit their valentines. Back in the day when you had to bring a card for everyone, so that no was left out.
I hated missing the party that day, but I loved opening my valentines at home on the couch with my swollen glands.
As I got older, I discovered Godiva chocolates. After that I got a box every year.
Even my senior year of college, when I lived in an apartment with a group of girls.
Valentine’s Day rolled around and sure enough, when I went to check my post office box at the campus center, there was a box of Godiva chocolates. The two-layer size.
My mouth watered just imagining what was inside.
No “what a waste of time” soft-centers in this box.
No hunting for the good pieces.
Each one was a masterpiece.
By the time I drove home to our apartment, it occurred to me that the minute my roommates saw that box of Godiva chocolates sitting out on our coffee table, it would be devoured.
I’ve never told anyone this, but I kept that box of candy hidden under the driver’s seat of my car until they were all gone.
I ate every last one of those chocolates myself.
Didn’t share them with a soul.