AGE 10 – Valentine’s Day
I made Valentine’s Day cards for everyone in my class. When I say I made cards, I mean, I REALLY drew, colored, and wrote personal messages to everyone – even the kids who bugged me! Of course, I made an extra big one for Donovan. I didn’t know whether or not he’d stop by our house, but I hoped he would because Mom throws the coolest, craziest parties. She’s the BEST party planner, evaaaahhhh! She decided to throw a Valentine’s Day party this year and the theme was PINK, my favorite color. Mom is the absolute best in every way. When I woke up this morning, the entire house was pink and filled with hearts and balloons. My room had streamers all over and on my desk sat a big box, bigger than my head – and trust me, my entire family tells me that I have a big head.
“What’s this, Mom?”
“A present.” Did my momma think I was stupid??? Of course it was a present. “Don’t give me that snippy look, young lady.” How on earth did she know what I was thinking? “I know ‘cuz I’m your momma.” Aaaahhh! She’s psycho. Or is it psychic? Whatever.
“Who’s this from?”
“Open it.” Daddy suggested.
I did open it, and it was the most fantabulous dress in PINK! “Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s so pretty. Do you think Dono…” I turned PINK myself and ran into the bathroom with the dress. I think my parents were laughing at me, but I ignored them.
School was soooooo boring and it lasted soooooo long. As soon as it was done, I ran home with Doug and helped Mom wherever she’d let me help. The party started at 6:00pm with a wonderful dinner that Mom did NOT cook. Mom is a great party planner, but not the best cook. Lucky for all of us, she catered the meal. Now, I’m not trying to be mean. She just doesn’t cook. But she does a lot of other cool things, so it’s all good.
I quickly ate my dinner with my cousins at the children’s table. Jane was pouting because she had to sit with us even though she said she was almost fifteen years old. Jane looked gorgeous in her soft pink dress (it helped that Auntie Sandy let her put on blush and lipstick tonight – something my own mom would not let me do). I felt like an ugly duckling! Even worse, my dress was big and poofy, something a little three-year-old would wear. What ten-year-old wears a big, poofy pale pink dress? Jane’s was a long, slinky one. With her black hair, blue eyes, and soft pink dress, she looked like a high-schooler. With my blonde hair and big poofy pink dress, I looked like cotton candy with a curly yellow bow on top. Ugh! I was going to have to stay away from my really pretty cousin.
“Hi Donovan!” Jane stood up and greeted him with a great big hug.
“Hello, Beautiful.” He answered her with a kiss to her forehead. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Same to you. Did you just get here?”
“Yeah. Your brother, Kelley and I are stopping by before heading over to the frat house.”
Donovan chatted away with my cousin, and I don’t know why, but my heart hurt so much to see him with Jane. And I felt so inadequate next to her. Quietly getting up from my seat, I went up to my room, found the card I’d made for Donovan and threw it in the trashcan. I also tried to take off this stupid dress but of course the complicated buttons in the back made it impossible for me to take it off. This was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, and I knew Mom was going to yell at me till next Valentine’s Day, but I got out the hugest pair of scissors I could find and searched for a way to get this dress off me. Should I start cutting from the top, or the bottom? I couldn’t make up my mind. What the hell, I mean heck. Mom would be furious with my snippiness now…but she wasn’t here to see it or hear it…ha! ha! ha!
“What the hell?”
I jumped back at the real “what the hell!” and the scissors landed right between my big toe and the one right next to it. Would that be called the fore-toe? Second toe? The one right after the big toe? Who! The! Hell! cares what the toe is called when my foot hurts so badly? OW! OW! OW! I hopped around my room but held back the tears because Jake and Donovan had come in my room.
“I’ll go get the first aid kit. You stay here with Laney.”
“Jake! Please don’t tell Mom! I’ll be in big trouble‼!”
He laughed at me (again!). “Alright. I’ll clean and bandage you up myself,” he answered and walked away.
“Why the hell did you have a pair of scissors the size of Jaw’s mouth on your dress?”
“I couldn’t unbutton the dress so the only way out was to cut it off.”
I think Donovan thought I was coo coo for cocoa puffs – and by the way, isn’t that a great saying? Daddy says that about some of his patients, though I don’t think he means for me to hear it.
“Do you normally cut off all your dresses if you can’t wait for your mom to help you take it off?” He was trying really hard not to laugh at me. WHY oh WHY do these people always laugh at me? WHY can’t he just give me a hug and kiss on my head like he did to Jane? Instead, this boy, man, college student – whatever! – is always laughing at me. Aaaarrrggghhh‼!
“No.” There was so much blood coming out and it hurt so badly, that’s about all I could say.
“Laney.” Uncle Bobby was here. Thank GOD! “Let’s see what’s happening.”
Uncle Bobby is a doctor like Dad, but in a different part of the body. He must be much smarter than Daddy because Daddy only knows about the heart, but Uncle Bobby practices something called general medicine, which means he takes care of the whole body. I’d never tell Daddy I think Uncle Bobby is smarter, but I think I’m right.
“It’s bleeding so much,” I croaked so I wouldn’t cry.
“Ooh, this looks pretty deep. I’m going to have to suture the wound. Jake, give me my kit.” My cousin did just that. “This might sting a bit. I’m going to have to clean it first.”
As soon as Uncle Bobby put the cotton pad with antiseptic on me, I yelped, “SHIT,” then added very quickly when I saw the look on all of their faces, “-take mushroom!” Uncle Bobby’s body started convulsing, and he couldn’t stop laughing at me. Then, Jake and Donovan joined in. I was probably redder than the red balloons in my room.
“You want me to hold your hand when your uncle starts with the stitches?” Donovan offered, and I was no dummy. The offer was taken even before the question was finished.
Getting stitches is not for weaklings. It hurt! But, I didn’t cry in front of Donovan and this crazy weird feeling in my stomach that came after Donovan started holding my hand, helped take my mind off the needle tying my two toes together.
“What do you keep muttering?” Donovan asked.
“Huh? I’m not saying anything.”
“Yes you are. You keep saying all these words that don’t have any meaning when stated together.”
“Oh.” Shiitake mushroom! I didn’t realize I was saying any words aloud.
“Say them louder, Laney.”
“Do I have to, Uncle Bobby? I’d prefer to keep them to myself. It’s just my private collection of words.”
“I’d like to hear them,” he said with a nice smile.
“Oh, okay. Here goes…shiitake mushroom, Hoover Dam, hell-o, assinine, habitchual and there are a couple more but I think I’ll stop before I get into any more trouble.” My head went down. I waited for Uncle Bobby to have a “word” with me.
“Where did these words come from, Laney?”
“I make them up. And I promise, I only use them in my head whenever the situation is extreme, like it is now. I don’t use these words on anyone else. It’s just my private collection of words, Uncle Bobby.”
“So, it’s like a substitute word for the actual bad word itself?” Jake was snickering at me. And so was Donovan.
It wasn’t cool of them to make fun of me. I got mad! “Um, HELL-o, I think that’s called a euphemism…,” answered the girl who was in a lot of pain, and with a lot of snarkiness. After getting cut with a pair of scissors, I never wanted to use the word snip(py), ever again! Donovan and Jake were practically on the floor, shaking with laughter. Uncle Bobby, too. “Have I put you all in stitches? Can we finish up my stitches once yours are contained?”
“Where on earth did you get such a large vocabulary, Delaney? Who teaches you all this stuff?”
“Nobody teaches me. I read, unlike some people in this household.” I pretended to cough and say Doug’s name at the same time.
“I don’t think we need to go anywhere for entertainment tonight. I could hang out with your cousin all night and be perfectly happy.”
Really??? Meeeee toooooo!
“I think you’re all set, young lady. It will be up to you to explain to your parents what happened here.”
“Thank you, Uncle Bobby. When you’re too old to take care of yourself, I’ll help you.” Maybe that wasn’t the best thing to say?!?
“Why thank you, Laney. Not even my own kids have offered help in my dotage. I’ll keep it in mind.”
“Bye.” I called out to my uncle and expected the other two guys to leave. “Good-bye?” I said to the both of them.
“Before I leave, I want to know why there’s a handmade Valentine’s Day card in your trashcan.”
Oh! My! Gosh‼! Donovan was almost at my trashcan picking out his card.
“NO‼‼” I screamed. And that helped. He stopped long enough for me to grab the card out from under him.
“Is that for your boyfriend?” Donovan teased. “He must have the same initials as mine as I see a huge D in the front and a T in the back.”
Mortification with a capital M – thy name is Delaney! I can be a bit melodramatic at times, but at this very moment, I should be nothing less. Donovan almost guessed my secret.
“Stop harassing a ten-year-old and let’s get going. Kelley’s going to be waiting.”
“I can’t leave till Delaney tells me who she made the card for and why it’s in the trashcan.”
“I made it for a boy. But I got mad at the boy for paying attention to another girl. So I trashed it.” I looked him dead in the eye and dared him to challenge me. But inside, I was sooooo nervous he might challenge me. “Satisfied?”
He smiled his one-million megawatt smile and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, little girl. See you again, soon.”
This was the best Valentine’s Day evaaaahhhh‼‼