applespice: it is a sparkly fairy ([art] i'm not sorry)
How About Them Apples? ([personal profile] applespice) wrote2012-02-13 04:38 pm

LJ Idol - Week 14 - Twitterpated

Valentine’s Day means a full eight hours of heartbreak, tears, and crushing disappointment.

Oh, not for me. Even worse – for my students.

It’s one of the hazards of being a high school teacher that on Valentine’s Day I have to deal with about 10% of my students carrying around an enormous cache of “romantic” gifts (using the teenaged definition of “romantic,” which is startlingly opposed to the usual adult use of the term) – cheap teddy bears, roses that are soon crushed by obsessive handling, and those fucking mylar balloons – while the rest look on in either annoyance or jealousy. If it were only the looking I could deal, but as my students are completely incapable of keeping what’s inside their heads out of their mouths, I get a bitter running commentary throughout all five periods of the day. By the time I get home I could definitely do with a romantic dinner and a sensual massage of my own, but unfortunately for me my boyfriend is in another city for school during the week... so I’m stuck with Diet Cherry 7Up, a grilled cheese sandwich, and reruns of Criminal Minds.

This is my third year of teaching. By now, I expect certain things on Valentine’s Day.

1. Somebody will get dumped.
There are many cruel people in this world and most of them are teenaged boys. For whatever reason, these douchebags-in-training can think of no better way to stick it to the poor girl that foolishly agreed to date them than to dump her on Valentine’s Day. She comes to school buoyed up by the expectation of a crappy Wal-Mart teddy bear only to have her hopes and dreams crushed by the unwashed asshole she thought she loved – poor thing.

The best-case scenario (for me) is if there are only tears and excessive texting to the boy in question. This is annoying but can be dealt with. The worst-case scenario is, well...

2. Somebody got cheated on.
It sucks enough to be a teenaged girl* dumped on Valentine’s Day, a holiday almost certainly designed for teenaged girls. It sucks twice as hard if you got dumped for the side piece. All of a sudden she’s carting around your half-wilted roses and wearing your boyfriend’s enormous filthy hoodie. It’s too much to bear!

When this happens, the girl usually can’t handle the strain on her own. There are the usual tears and texting, but she will also want to “take a break” out in the hallway while her best friend reassures her. This is bad enough if her best friend is already in my class, but usually she isn’t and will show up unannounced in the middle of the period like some kind of skinny-bejeaned fairy godmother summoned by the power of friendship. This will completely disrupt my class, naturally.

Bonus points if either the dumpee or the side piece are pregnant – that always adds an extra layer to this tiramisu of awfulness.

*Don’t think that boys get out of this completely scot-free. While I have the girlfriends, my school is helplessly overcrowded so I probably have the boyfriends, too. So I get to deal with this from both sides of the coin – lucky me. And there are plenty of cold-hearted teenaged girls out there as well, ready to dump their boyfriends on this most sacred of high school holidays with the best of the bastard boys. If anything, a broken-hearted boy is even harder to deal with than a broken-hearted girl, as they are about 50% more likely to be irrationally angry along with the crying and texting. There’s nothing quite like bearing the brunt of a boy’s melodramatic emotional outburst only to have him expect for all to be cool once he tells you he’s “just dealing with some stuff.”*

But as we are all aware, most of us having been there at least once in our lives, not everyone has a significant other to dump them on Valentine’s Day. This leads me to the last V-Day expectation....

3. Somebody’s gonna be single.
This is possibly the saddest group of all. At least the others got to enjoy having a boy- or girlfriend for awhile, even if they had to be cruelly cut loose in the end. The perpetually singles never even had the faint hope of getting a bear or a balloon – they knew that the day would only bring disappointment.

There are several different shades of this particular individual, ranging from mostly apathetic (or at least pretending to be) to out-and-out rageaholic. I consider it a boon if I only have to hear about “Single’s Awareness Day” or some light bashing of the Valentine encumbered once or twice per class period. Sometimes, though, you get someone who just can’t let up, and that is no fun at all. The most disheartening bit is the secondhand embarrassment you feel for these types, as they could not make it more obvious (despite constant demands to the contrary) that they reallyreally wanted to be someone’s Valentine and are desperately disappointed that no spontaneous confessions of love were made and cheesy gifts given. It's sad but understandable, as again - who hasn't been there?

At any rate, by the time the day is done I am more than ready to go home. Riding the rollercoaster of teenage emotions is difficult even on the most innocuous of days, but Valentine’s Day is a minefield of FEELINGS that run the gamut from ebullient to gut-stabbing, and it is more than a little exhausting for those of us who like to think we’ve moved to bigger and better.

But I’m still going to get those flowers in the mail, right?


Happy Valentine's Day!

[identity profile] 2012-02-13 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Then there are the guys that break up with a girl right before Vaketines so they don't have to deal with it. Then they come back begging for forgiveness on the 16th. I could never do what you do. all those teen-age hormones, emotions, and drama.
Well written as always.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, yes! I totally forgot about those winners... Can't imagine why, as that has actually happened to me! LOL.

Thanks :)

[identity profile] 2012-02-13 10:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh man. You are right, teenage years are the worst time in Christendom to have to endure Valentine's Day. It doesn't matter how attractive/unattractive you are, almost everyone will be disappointed at some point. At least when you're little everyone is obliged to give you something, and when you're older no one gives you anything and you can peacefully not give a shit.

I remember when my Dad was dying I was away from school to visit him in the hospital in Ohio. He gave me a bunch of roses, which someone had had to go out and get for him, but it was the most meaningful thing I ever received. When I got back to school after he died, I found a bunch of Valentines in my locker, and a big balloon from one of the most popular girls in school. It was the best Valentine's Day I'd ever had, even if it was so sad. But it was nice to see that teenagers can still have hearts.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:08 am (UTC)(link)
Aw, that is such a sweet Valentine story -- it's so great that your peers did that for you!

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 12:27 am (UTC)(link)
Oh high school. My mom used to send me stuff even when I was single, so I guess there was that.

When I had my first real boyfriend, I put together a cutesy little Valentine's Day package for him and brought it to school. There was a stuffed animal, a balloon, candy... you name it. He didn't get me anything, so he asked me to carry around his gift all day so people thought he had. I was fine not getting anything, but it really bothered me that he wouldn't even carry his gift around.

And the stupid "stealing hearts" game I wrote about as an alt last season. He gave his heart to a pretty girl instead of me. The one year I thought I might have a heart like the other girls since I finally had a boyfriend *sigh*

Oh I am so glad to be over all that drama :)

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:10 am (UTC)(link)
My mommy did that, too :) Even this year she gave me some chocolate and socks!

Aw, what a dick boyfriend :( The first time I had a boyfriend around Valentine's Day, he dumped me before the day so he could avoid giving me a present. Then he got back with me later... I didn't even realize what he'd done until he admitted it months down the line. Douche!

At least we got some good guys now, right? :) Drama-free!

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 12:38 am (UTC)(link)
So true! So true! AW

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:10 am (UTC)(link)
You know how it is!!

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 12:38 am (UTC)(link)
I am so glad I'm not a teenager anymore. I could not even watch this.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
Hey, at least this year some kids got me presents!

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2012-02-16 14:16 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2012-02-17 00:54 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 12:57 am (UTC)(link)
Ow. Ow, ow, ow. All too true.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
There's a reason no sane person misses high school...

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
(using the teenaged definition of “romantic,” which is startlingly opposed to the usual adult use of the term)

I feel like you would appreciate the fact that my mother had to tell one of her seventh graders that cash was not an appropriate Valentines present for his girlfriend.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:12 am (UTC)(link)
Hahahah! Oh, kids. I had a boy last year who wanted to spend "about $5" on his girlfriend for Valentine's Day. Made a big deal of asking all the girls what he could get for $5. He just couldn't understand why they all called him an asshole...

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 01:25 am (UTC)(link)
Oh golly. This is very familiar to me. Mostly not through firsthand experience, except for the single and bitter stuff. I just wanted some sort of ostentatious gift...even though I had no interest in 99% of the guys in the school and the one I was interested in turned out to be totally douchetastic, lol.

And...not the pregnancy part. Eeek.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
I totally wanted something to show off on V-Day, too. Never got it, though :( Oh well! At least we weren't one of those smug people that everyone else secretly hated, right?

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
So much truth here- teenagers can be awful to each other.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
Their capacity for hurting each other is really limitless.

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 03:54 am (UTC)(link)
Mostly what I remember of Valentine's in high school is the chorus going around singing to people at lunch, and people sending warm fuzzies to each other.

I think my high school was weird in all sorts of ways, lol.

I liked the tone of this little look into adolescent love lives. :)

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:14 am (UTC)(link)
Awww - that is sweet! I think I would have rather attending your high school than mine!

Thank you!
shadowwolf13: (Default)

[personal profile] shadowwolf13 2012-02-14 04:11 am (UTC)(link)
I always hated V-Day in school. I had a boyfriend but he never sent me anything (all I wanted was one of those stupid carnations) ... until the day he had full bouquet, vase and all, delivered to the school for me. Having to cart that around was ridiculous.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:14 am (UTC)(link)
LOL - you couldn't win for losing!

I do have to wonder how those girls with the giant teddy bears and balloons feel by the last period of the day... doesn't that get tiring??

(no subject)

[personal profile] shadowwolf13 - 2012-02-16 03:32 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 04:28 am (UTC)(link)
show up unannounced in the middle of the period like some kind of skinny-bejeaned fairy godmother summoned by the power of friendship. This will completely disrupt my class, naturally.

LMAO there are some universal constants in all high schools, it would seem.

Definitely looking forward to tomorrow in the classroom. OY!

Great entry. Thanks for the (dead-on accurate) laughs.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
Well, they're all teenagers in the end! They can't deny their teenhood ALL the time ;)

Thanks! Hope V-Day went swimmingly for you!

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 06:14 am (UTC)(link)
Most of the time I was one of the singleton's. Not only did we do the flowers for Valentine's Day, but we ALSO did it for Sweetest Day... yet another gorram holiday to NOT get flowers for, although I did get a few one year, because friends could send them to friends, not just BF/GF.

I feel for ya!

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
I was always single on V-Day during high school, but I remember one year that my good guy friend bought flowers for all the single girls in our group... it was really nice of him and definitely made us appreciate V-Day a little more :)

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 07:29 am (UTC)(link)
This was just wonderful. It brought back memories of those days as a student, but even more, it was a great snapshot of high school life, amplified by the drama of a particular day.

but usually she isn’t and will show up unannounced in the middle of the period like some kind of skinny-bejeaned fairy godmother summoned by the power of friendship.
This, I could see completely. So well-described.

There’s nothing quite like bearing the brunt of a boy’s melodramatic emotional outburst only to have him expect for all to be cool once he tells you he’s “just dealing with some stuff.”*
The glorious dichotomy of the anger and then the vagueness here were perfect.

I feel for you. Even second-hand, that is more of an ordeal than anyone wants to suffer through, especially on a yearly basis!

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:18 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you!

Teaching high school is definitely odd sometimes. I think most of us said we'd "never go back," and now here we are... every day! It's certainly something that takes some getting used to.

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 11:32 am (UTC)(link)
Oh man, I remember Valentine's day in my high school, brutal. Good luck getting through it!

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:19 am (UTC)(link)
It actually wasn't so bad this year! Then again, I may have been in a sugar haze from all the chocolate and accidentally missed the drama.

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 12:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Great entry! ♥

skinny-bejeaned fairy godmother summoned by the power of friendship

I loved this phrase. I also loved how you ended this piece.

I think I am still part teenager as I like shiny balloons and heart-themed stuffed animals, haha. Then again, I *am* an adult and can buy myself a walking "kiss me" heart toy without the drama. ^_^

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:20 am (UTC)(link)
Nothing wrong with liking cute and shiny stuff - just try not to wave it in the faces of any single teenagers... you never know what might happen! ;)

hollymath: (Default)

[personal profile] hollymath 2012-02-14 01:08 pm (UTC)(link)
The most sacred of high school holidays indeed. right up there with homecoming (when, as a girl, you weren't anybody unless you were wearing a boy's football jersey over your tiny body) and prom. Urgh.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:20 am (UTC)(link)
Oh Lawd... our winter ball/cotillion is this weekend and I can already feel the tension mounting as some kids are freaking about how they STILL DON'T HAVE A DATE OMG.

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 07:37 pm (UTC)(link)
So true. The teen years SUCK through Valentine's Day. I can feel the angst from here!

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:21 am (UTC)(link)
It smells like tears and an ex-boyfriend's Axe body spray :(

[identity profile] 2012-02-14 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
I was one of those kids in high school that never had a boyfriend. I dated a lot, screwed around a lot, but was never significant with anyone. I just never thought to be. I don't think I ever broke anyone's heart... I'd gotten all that out of my system in junior high. I never really cared anything about Valentine's Day, but I didn't hate it, either. It was a good excuse to be goofy and fun. I'd probably get fun cards for some of my good girlfriends, usually from the naughty section at Spencer Gifts, but never any boys... that could be badly misinterpreted. I wasn't really a suckup, but, I always did bring in something for the teachers I liked. I can't remember what that would have been, but I thought it was nice at the time, and they'd always pretend to, if they didn't. I was a nerd.

I do not envy you the headache you must deal with on this day.

I loved how you ended this... too cute! Hopefully, he'll send something memorable.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
I actually got a pretty good haul from some of my best students yesterday - cupcakes, candy, letters, and even a Val-O-Gram. Finally, some appreciation!! LOL. But really, I'm sure your teachers loved it. It always feels great to have a kid show you that you mean SOMETHING to them.

Really, I think the best way to spend the day is by appreciating friends and family first.

[identity profile] 2012-02-15 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
haha oh my, the angst and pain of teenage love and heartbreak - there is definitely nothing else quite like it. I definitely don't envy your job on today of all days. :O

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
Yesterday was relatively pain-free, for once! There was some peripheral drama, but most of the kids were in good spirits. Thank the lawd for that!

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2012-02-16 14:17 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2012-02-15 01:14 am (UTC)(link)
I love this. It's so true!

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
You can always count on teens to be overdramatic!

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 02:43 am (UTC)(link)
Loved the extra layer to this tiramisu of awfulness and the image of Valentine's Day as a minefield at the end.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
Now I'm thinking of mines in tiramisu... oh goodness!

Thanks ;)

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 05:43 am (UTC)(link)
See, I had the bright idea to ask a girl to prom on Valentine's...only to find out at lunchtime she already had a date. Okay, now what do I do with the humongous bouquet of flowers? (I ended up asking another girl...who took a week to decide and said no.)

So yeah, I get this.

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 02:18 pm (UTC)(link)
This is HILARIOUS!! I love your voice - especially the description of the best friend showing up! Great job, hearkens me right back to high school, too. Do you have clubs that sold flowers/cookies/balloons in the days leading up to Valentine's that now burst into your class to make deliveries to the popular kids so that everyone knows WHO DIDN'T GET ANYTHING and WHO GOT THE MOST?

[identity profile] 2012-02-16 06:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I always ignored Valentines in high school, but it was still so annoying.