Today’s tale is about how I learned I shouldn’t write anonymous love letters. Ugh, this story is so embarrassing. Why did I pick this one?! Anyway, here we go.
Back in 4th grade, I had a crush on a boy in my class named Albert (name changed). He was Korean, quiet, and had glasses, that’s really the extent of my memory. I had had a crush on him in Kindergarten as well, and there was some small scuffle with another girl over who had dibs on his affection back then. Oh, well, back to 4th grade.
I was a rather wild child when I was 10. I had a strange penchant for screaming things randomly and biting people. In fact, that was how I met my best friend, Eleanor, but that is a story for another day.
The day before Valentine’s Day, I decided that I was going to make special, handmade Valentines for my friends that I was closest too. I took red construction paper and cut it into large hearts. Then I placed the hearts on white paper and traced small half-circles all the way around the hearts to simulate a lacy Valentine. Finally, I glued the two pieces together and wrote a heartfelt message on the front of each heart. The end result looked something like this:
So I made maybe 5 of these for my close friends in my class of 22. The rest of the class got store-bought Valentines, probably in Mulan theme or whatever Disney movie was out at the time. Albert received a store-bought Valentine.
Then, on Valentine’s Day, right as I was about to leave for the bus, I decided to show my love for Albert, but in a secret way. I grabbed a 3×5 notecard out of my desk, and I scrawled some lame, rhyming love poem on it for him. I didn’t want him to know that it was from me, so I disguised my handwriting. Except I was 10, so disguising my handwriting meant writing in quick, pretty normal-looking cursive.
At school, our desks were aligned in a square facing inward, and we had paper lunch bags taped to the front of each desk for our Valentines to be dropped into. No one noticed when I dropped two Valentines into Albert’s bag, and I felt very pleased with myself. However, Eleanor’s desk was directly to the left of Albert’s, so when he pulled out this anonymous love letter, he showed it to her.
Eleanor took it upon herself to figure out who this mysterious admirer was, and she and Albert spent about 10 minutes looking at it together before she decided to look at her own Valentines. Well, since Eleanor was my best friend, she had received one of my handmade Valentines, which I had stupidly written in cursive in an attempt to make them more impressive. It took her about 5 seconds of looking at it before she realized that the anonymous love letter and the handmade Valentine were both from me.
Now, instead of waiting till recess and asking me about my affections in a place where I wouldn’t be subjected to 21 pairs of eyes staring at me, Eleanor snatched up her handmade Valentine and my love letter, marched across the middle of the room, and dramatically tossed the evidence on my desk.
“You wrote this love letter to Albert! Your handwriting matches with the Valentine you gave me!” She yelled triumphantly, pleased as punch for solving this mystery. The rest of the class goggled till their eyes almost popped out of their heads as I turned bright red and quietly admitted that it was indeed my doing. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. And that’s how I learned not to write anonymous love letters.
Oh, and also Albert transferred schools after that year, heightening the embarrassment. We ended up going to high school together, but I don’t think we ever spoke again.