Romance, MTC Edition

Tomorrow morning, a bunch of Provoans (and, presumably others) will wake up with a brand new ring on their left ring fingers.[fn1] To all of you: congratulations and good luck! This, though, isn’t your story.

When I got back from my mission, I spent two semesters teaching Portuguese at the MTC.[fn2] One morning, one of my fellow teachers came in with a new ring on her left hand. After our morning meeting, she went in to teach. She didn’t say anything to the Elders (it’s been a long time, but I think she only had Elders) but, after about 10 minutes, in the middle of a lesson on conjugation, one of them noticed her new jewelry. They got excited (remember how close you felt to your teachers at the MTC? They were basically your only connection to the outside world) and she was giddy.

Especially when she reminded them it was April 1.

So this probably isn’t the place for your sweet, heartfelt Valentine’s Day memories. Actually, this is the place for those. (And seriously, you need to read that post.[fn3]) This post is for your other Valentine’ Day (-esque, at least)  memories.

Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day!

[fn1] Or at least I assume they will, though I base that assumption on the fact that my sister’s Helaman Halls RA got engaged on the evening of February 14, 1998. But if I can’t project a trend from a single isolated data point, what fun is blogging?

[fn2] At 6:30 am, actually. If it hadn’t been so early, or maybe if I’d been more of a morning person, I might have taught longer than two semesters.

[fn3] Seriously. See, I’m no Valentine’s Day cynic; I love most holidays, including today. We had heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes (though I substituted white chocolate chunks for half of the chocolate chips) for breakfast, my daughters will have heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, and heart-shaped personal pizzas for dinner, as well as plenty of homemade hearts and cards and other celebratory celebrations.

6 comments for “Romance, MTC Edition

  1. When I was at BYU, I injured myself on Valentine’s Day two years in a row. The first year, a window broke as a friend opened it, and the glass fell onto my arm and nearly severed the tendon to my thumb. I had to have plastic surgery to remove glass fragments from my wrist. The next year, as I was heading down my apartment stairs to go do laundry, I tripped and fell to the concrete sidewalk below, breaking my elbow and spraining my ankle so badly it swelled up to about twice its size (and even now, about 12 years later, that ankle still has scar tissue that makes it larger than the other, and my elbow still has trouble when I try to lean on it to ride my bike).

    So I tend to avoid Valentine’s Day out of sheer self-preservation.

  2. Another non-Valentine’s Provo Diamonds reminiscence: One of my fondest BYU memories was being assigned to do a textual analysis of a Daily Universe engagement ring ad. Professor’s final comment on my paper: “Really funny–are you truly so cynical?” My answer would have been, and still is: only when confronted with engagement ring ads targeted at romantically insecure and debt-ridden RMs or a pink aisle at the grocery store stocked with furry handcuffs. (In the grocery store? Where am I? Sodom and Gomorrah?) Valentine’s would be a lovely holiday if the marketing were at least as much about making heart-shaped pancakes for your kids as it is about seducing with pink paper doilies and scentless, leggy Stepford roses.

  3. My wife and I both ignore Valentine’s Day. We do special things for each other throughout the year because of mutual appreciation for each other… doing because of the calendar just seems hollow for us – much like we tell people to remember Christ throughout the year and not just at Christmas, well we do that for showing affection and appreciation. She would call me a moron for spending a boat load on flowers that are going to be half price just a few days later. She say to just save the money and buy them later, then she would know I thought about her just because of my love and not because of advertising.

  4. Wow, Stacy, I’d certainly give you a pass on Valentine’s Day celebrations. Ouch.

    Marie, that sounds fun.

    Jax, why ignore it? I love my wife and do things for her every day, too. That said, I love my mom and think about her almost every day, but I still try to remember her birthday and Mother’s Day. There’s no reason why celebrating one day has to preclude celebrating others (and no reason why it has to be super-expensive: see pancakes, sandwiches, and pizza).

    That said, I’m really looking forward to the stories of misbegotten romance (including stories like comments 1 and 2). So bring them on!

  5. In high school we would do these compatibility tests and pay $10 to see who we matched up with (I never did it because I was broke and the guy I liked didn’t do it either). Along with paying $15 to give a lollipop to a crush(never paid, never received any either). Needless to say, those last 4 years of grade school killed any romanticism I had. Though today I hope to get a massage if the husband gets out of work early enough.

    Plus, since like many others with my anniversary being so close to valentines day (5 days later), kinda hard to budget out enough to equally celebrate both. So valentines day is usually forgotten. But so is our anniversary–last year my parents had to call and remind us.

  6. About very young love rather than just young love:

    I have a granddaughter in the sixth grade. Tuesday a boy in her class gave her a box of chocolates, but she returned them because they were so over-the-top in comparison to other gifts. She said, “Thank you, but I think these are too much.” Another girl, from a fourth-grade class, overheard her and said, “My dad LOVES chocolates! Can I have them?” The boy said, “No. I want to give them to a sixth grader.” He importuned my granddaughter again, and she said, “Okay. Thanks” or something like that. A little while later the fourth grader saw her with the chocolates and said, “My dad would really like those, can I have them?” My granddaughter, always anxious to please, said “OK” and gave her the box. But–of course–when the boy saw that the younger girl had the chocolates, he was crushed. His friend berated my granddaughter, saying “He wanted YOU to have those.”

    The truth is that my granddaughter was clueless, before, during, and after. Her mother had to explain what she had done that was wrong and we are expecting that she will offer some kind of apology today. Having been such a boy, though, I doubt that the apology is going to uncrush him, at least not for a while.

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