Happy Valentine’s Day! Ya’ll are sweethearts to read my blog.
Do you have one? A Valentine’s Day gone wrong? I did. 1965. The Fifth Grade Valentine’s Day Square Dance. Hampton Elementary School. Towson, Maryland.
At the practice dance the day before, one of the cool, cute boys asked me to be his partner. Yes! I was set for the real shindig. I was sure of it. We would dance together again on February 14.
On Valentine’s morning, the boys began inviting girls to be their partners. (No, we girls didn’t ask the boys in 1965.) The oh so cute, cool boy asked another girl. Devastation for this eleven-year-old.
Soon almost everyone was paired up. Poor Barbara. No one to do-si-do with.
Finally, one of my friends did some negotiating, and Eddie Pissaro asked me to be his dance partner. Not anywhere near my first choice. I still remember how lumpy and sweaty his arm felt as we promenaded right and left.
Fast forward 45 years to my dad’s memorial service.
“Barbara, I’m Eddie Pissaro.”
The name shot through me like an arrow from a winged cherub.
“Eddie! How wonderful to see you! You knew my father?”
“I live in your old neighborhood now. When your dad was out raking leaves, I’d stop and chat with him.”
We reminisced a bit about Hampton Elementary School and the kids we knew there.
And now, TA DA! I would make his day. (My girls had told me that despite my lack of eye makeup, I looked pretty good in my funeral dress.)
“I haven’t forgotten you were my partner for the Fifth Grade Square Dance.”
“I was?” said Eddie. “I don’t remember.”
Eddie shook his head. “No.”
How could he forget?
That week, when I came home to Hillsborough, I did a bit of archival research in my closet. Note the goofy-looking girl with the glasses in the bright pink velvet jumper. Does she look like a dream date?
“Your dad was a good guy,” Eddie said as he left the church that August day.
I should have added, “You’re a good guy too, and on 2-14-65, you were a REALLY good guy. What an honor to be your square dance partner.”
P.S. I circled Eddie. The boy who passed me over shall go uncircled.
Now tell us your worst Valentine story by clicking on “Comments” below. Have the years mellowed or enlightened that story at all?