We all know Valentine’s Day is annoying if you’re single. It’s a Hallmark-created “holiday,” designed to get us to shell out for jewelry, flowers, candy and cards. But Valentine’s Day provides the perfect cover to let your crush know how you feel.
Three decades ago when I was a sophomore at Armijo High School, I had secret crushes on various girls. Like Charlie Brown with the little red-haired girl, I was too terrified to approach them. The fear was getting shot down like Farmer Ted in “Sixteen Candles.”
One day a girl with long, flowing, dirty blonde hair, looking like Farrah Fawcett straight from the famous poster, walked into my history class. In fact, to protect her identity we’ll call her “Farrah.” I couldn’t even hear the teacher over the chorus of angels singing whenever I gazed at Farrah.
It just so happened that Farrah and I attended the same church and Bible class. So after admiring her from afar in school, I was able to admire her on Sundays, too.
Summoning up my courage, I found Farrah’s phone number in the church directory and decided to call her. She answered and I quickly chickened out of revealing my identity. I claimed to be a secret admirer and, for some reason, she stayed on the line and chatted. We began talking every day on the phone, with her clueless that I was the big black guy two desks over and sitting next to her in Sunday school. This went on for weeks.
I was catfishing before catfishing was a thing. Today they have laws keeping people like me from contacting girls like this, but this was 1982 and I was free to be my own Cyrano de Bergerac.
Whenever I had to speak in school or Sunday school, I had to disguise my voice in Farrah’s presence lest my secret be exposed on the spot.
I confided in two friends of mine, Joe Barbour and Don Spering, that I liked Farrah. Don attended the same church and knew Farrah. He also knew some anonymous guy had been calling her. They pressed me on the issue and I admitted it was me and that I’d reveal my identity in due time.
The next day at school, while walking from the annex to A-wing between classes, I spotted Farrah walking about 20 feet in front of me. Suddenly, Don and Joe appeared on either side of me, grabbing my arms. To my horror they yelled, “Farrah, here he is!” She turned around almost in slow motion, her baby blue eyes locking on mine and a smile broadening across her face.
This is the part where I tell you that she dropped her books and came running to me like Bo Derek in “10” and I shrugged off my traitorous friends and embraced her in a long, slow kiss, with our classmates encircling us, applauding and sobbing. But the truth is we didn’t talk any more after that. She just wasn’t into me.
A while ago I caught up with Farrah on Facebook and she vaguely remembered the episode way back when. We laughed about it. Then she blocked me online and served me with a restraining order.
Though I didn’t end up dating Farrah, it was fun while it lasted. So go ahead and take a chance on romance this Valentine’s Day. Just don’t do the anonymous call thing because that’s creepy. Peace.
Kelvin Wade is the author of “Morsels” Vols. I and II and lives in Fairfield. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.