By Tommy Butler
It’s a week before Valentine’s Day. I’m in the 7th grade and my little heart is begging for Cupid to shoot an arrow down on a pretty young thing. But this year, Cupid gets replaced by a sharpshooter. A cutie sits alone at her desk. I approach her. “Be my Valentine.” (I was one with words). “OK,” she responds (check mate).
To avoid confusion we decide to get each other the same thing. We agreed to get the greatest gift we could possibly think of: Jelly Belly jelly beans. With a full heart and a 20-dollar bill, I spend the next week searching for the perfect box of Jelly Belly jelly beans. I land on a wonderful selection: Forty different flavors, each flavor presenting itself with a new way to express my love. I then bought a card that explained how swell I thought she was (also included: possible jelly bean combinations, root beer float being my favorite).
Judgment Day. As I wait for my love, I’m finishing up homework that I decide isn’t nearly as important as researching potential jelly bean combinations. At last, she opens the door, gets out my gift and places it on my desk. I am shocked. A bag that consisted of 36 assorted jelly beans, not flavors, but literally 36 little pieces of candy; some of which are licorice flavored, which don’t count because no one really likes licorice.
I fight back the tears and hand her the most outrageous set of Jelly Belly jelly beans ever. I lower my head and vow never to celebrate another Valentine’s Day for the rest of my life.
But this year, I think I’ll reconsider. Valentine’s Day represents an excuse to care about someone. And I say, Why not? Why not care about someone? Allow yourself to feel stupid. Allow yourself to look like a fool. Who knows, maybe this time you’ll receive the perfect amount of jelly beans.