First Valentine has been on my mind a lot here lately. Two years ago today, he passed away. He was one of those people who everyone loved, and everyone misses. But instead of dwelling on the sad, I thought I would do a little throwback (on Tuesday instead of Thursday this week) to one of my favorite First Valentine stories.
When we were in the 8th grade, we had to take half a semester of Home Ec. When I say "had to" you know it was mandatory or else I would NEVER have been in there! We only had like 15 people or so in our class, so they split us in half for the class. I was in a class with two girls and about 6 boys.
Our first project was to sew a pillow. Of course, because they were trying to teach us how to use a sewing machine (yea because that's practical...) we had to do a patchwork pillow. I still remember cutting out little squares of yellow and sunflower fabric for my pillow. That part I was able to handle without too much trouble.
Then it came time to actually sew the pillow. I got started and it was a disaster. I couldn't make the sewing machine to straight, If I did get the seam straight I would have made it too far in on the fabric so the squares were different sizes. Had the goal of the class been to learn how to use a seam ripper and start over, I would have totally nailed it.
As it was, I was about to fail Home Ec. I'm not talking like "Oh, haha Tiffany got a B" but seriously failing. That's when First Valentine took pity on me and came to the rescue. One day our teacher got called out of the room for some sort of meeting. First Valentine took the pillow away from me and sewed it all by the time she got back (mind you I worked on this for weeks and got nowhere and it took him like 20 minutes!). He saved the day (and the GPA) big time!
Now, you'd think he would have learned that I was a Home Ec failure. But when it came time to pick groups of people for the cooking portion of the class, him and two other kind boys chose me. One of them said, "This is good...she's a girl!" Little did he know!
So it was me and three boys tasked with making a mexican food dinner for the class. After I had to ask a few questions (i.e. "If the liquid and dry measuring cups both say 1 Cup, is that the same amount?" or "Is this supposed to be all lumpy?"), the boys quickly figured out my calling in the kitchen. Looking cute and chopping lettuce. They handled the tostadas, beans, rice and sopapillas. I chopped my lettuce. We all got As.
There's something special about friends who have known you since you were a kid. Friends who grew up with you and changed with you and know things about you that no one else does. Friends who support you and put up with you even when you are totally helpless and hopeless. First Valentine was one of those friends for me. I still miss him every day.