Back in High School, every February, one of the clubs would sell a Computer Matching Survey where you filled in a Scantron sheet and at Valentine's Day, for a few bucks you could by lists of the (in my case) boys who were romantically compatible to you. As I recall, you could buy one list for your grade and one school-wide.

I bought in, of course, because what 16-year-old doesn't want to know which boys she should be setting her laser-focused sights on?

Problem was, my percentages were always low. I never matched with anyone more than about 68%. And the guys they matched me with were compatible with EVERYONE. They were the middle-of-the-road nice guys - they were usually B students and had one thing they were known for (good artist, athlete, nice car), They weren't the Renaissance Man/Golden Boys that populated my honors classes, nor were they the Bad Boy/Mysterious Strangers that populated homerooms across the country.

Suffice it to say, doubt I ever ended up on anyone's list, and even if I had - what exactly were we supposed to do with this treasure trove of data?

"Hey, Student X (name changed to protect the guilty). I know we've known each other since Kindergarten, and you and I once got paired in Seven Minutes in Heaven and you looked so terrified/grossed out that we just waited it out in silence, but this paper says we're 57% compatible. Want to go to IHOP for some coffee?"

I should explain. Back in the dark ages, before Starbucks, if you wanted coffee, you went to IHOP. And if you were lucky, and the waitress was in a good mood, she *might* let you order the Smiley Face Pancakes. Or if she was bitch, she'd bring the Chocolate Chip Pancakes, no smiley face.

At my High School, you didn't date casually. You were either part of a couple, or you weren't. For the most part, I wasn't. Even back then, I'm what Willa Smiths in "Dicey's Song" would have called "strong meat". I was friends with lots of guys, but I don't think they saw me in "that way".

Don't get me wrong, I had fun. I went to dances, I had crushes, I flirted...but I never ended up as the Homecoming Queen or Most Likely To... anything.

And that was fine, because in retrospect what are the odds that I would find my match in a pool that small. I mean, I know it happens. An alarming, ALARMING number of folks I went to high school with are now married to someone else I went to high school with - which is great, but... admittedly, weird.

Suffice it to say, there were no grand romantic gestures made in those days.

My Freshman year of college, my boyfriend sent roses on Valentine's Day. I was living in the sorority house at the time, and any time someone got flowers, they'd sit in the foyer, so that anyone coming in the front door could see that Jenny or Ashley or whoever got flowers. It was kind of a huge ego stroke. Well, my roommate made the passive-aggressive move of taking mine and putting them in our room, denying me and several dozen others the pleasure of seeing them on the table. It bugged me. It bugged me more when she spent the rest of the evening haranguing her boyfriend over the phone because she didn't get flowers. Finally, one of the mother hens in the house gently chided my roommate into letting me enjoy my gift guilt-free.

Matt sent tulips for Valentine's one year to the office when we were dating. They went over like gangbusters. He's sent flowers a handful of times, and I'll admit that I love them, but I think it's a lot of buck for a short-lived bang. And in the past few years, I've sent enough flowers to know how much buck it is.

I'm not a hopeless romantic. It's funny. My parents have always been masters of the gesture, but I didn't inherit the gift.

And that's OK. I do have a knack for picking out good cards, and I'll send those, but other than that...

I don't need candy, jewelry, lingerie or teddy bears to know I'm loved and lucky.


Alex said…
I, on the other hand, enjoy jewelry, money, toys, and any other money-valued gifts to make me feel loved, so please, don't be shy...