When I was little, it was a much bigger production. We made our own valentine boxes and had a contest that was judged by our teacher. We got to sit wherever we wanted and played all kinds of games. I think the whole last half of the day following lunch was dedicated to the party actually. And there was so much preparation ahead of time by the kids.
First of all, there is NO way I finished my valentines in 5 minutes. This was an all night affair, which required much planning and forethought as to who would get which card and how many conversation hearts and what the conversation hearts could and couldn't say depending on how I felt about that particular person. The most important ones were 1) the boy(s) I liked at the time, 2)my best friend(s) at the time, and 3)the kids I 'hated'. And by "at the time", I really mean at the exact evening that I was preparing valentines, because as any girl knows, these categories changed from day to day and moment to moment. Girl drama. I don't miss it. Seriously. Because even though I'm grown I'm still subjected to it sometimes. So really, I don't miss it. Now what was I talking about again? Oh yeah- the enormous pressure to select just the right valentine for each classmate. Okay, so like I said, this required much thought.
First, for the boy(s) I liked, I had to pick out the card with a good picture that wasn't too girly, like 'Hefty Smurf', with the most 'I like you' connotation in it. Then, and this was the tricky part, I had to pick out just the right conversation hearts to include. This had to be just the right mixture of the way I really felt- so a few "Love" "Marry Me" "Cutie Pie" "Call Me", but with just enough other one's thrown in- "Smile" "Cool" "Neat", so that he couldn't know that I'd deliberately picked out his candy. I was going for the "I just tossed these in here and this is what you ended up with. Or did I?" effect. Ideally, he'd wonder, but never know for sure. Cause I'm slick like that. And believe me, I'd scrutinize the valentine he gave me and read into every phrase in there as well. If I got good sayings, I'd know he liked me. If they weren't so good, I'd assume he just tossed some in there. (It definitely couldn't be because he didn't like me. I just knew he did!)
Next in importance were the 'best friends'. Now this could be a warm and fuzzy thing where I picked out all the cutest and biggest cards and best flavors of conversation hearts for all my pals who all loved eachother, or it could be used as a passive aggressive form of girl cattiness. All you readers of the female persuasion probably already know how that could be, but for any guys out there who are thinking, "Huh? How can you use valentines in a mean way?", I'll explain. Say I was 'best buds' with Cathie and Susie, but yesterday Susie ticked me off by not picking me first for dodgeball. Well, Susie should have thought twice about doing that to me on the day before the Valentine's Day party, because now Cathie was going to get a huge Smurfette valentine with lots of pink and green and yellow hearts(the best flavors, of course) that say things like "Best Friend" "My Pal" and "You Rule", while Susie will get a small valentine, maybe with a little 'accidental' rip in it if I was really mad, with Brainy smurf (cause he's ugly), and white and purple hearts (yuck!) that say "Get Real" and "Whatever". And because she's a girl she will know that it was all on purpose, but never be able to prove anything to a teacher or parent. See how that works boys? Girls can find ways to be snotty even on Valentine's Day.
Now onto the 3rd category. "Kids I Hate" This was also really important. Boy who hit me in the stomach with the basketball at recess? Kid who told everyone it was me who farted? I'm talking to you. They basically got the same stuff as Susie, but with less hearts and messy writing.
The rest of the kids got, well, the rest of what was left, minus all the hearts that said "Let's Kiss." I ate those. I wasn't no floozie!
*sigh* I miss the good 'ole days.