I actually started this post at Christmastime and forgot about it until just now. It is a list of gifts I have received over the years, that actually goes better with Valentines day anyway.
* A used math textbook from a boy with whom I went to high school. His dad was a math teacher, and I called the boy for help on my calculus. I called him a lot. Maybe he was tired of me?
*A huge box of crayons and other children's art supplies. I was a senior in high school. I ended up marrying the guy who gave those to me. Some of the crayons are still in Grace's bin. Isn't that romantic?
*A TI-85 calculator. I had to have the calculator for school, but it was so expensive that my parents wrapped it and put under the tree for me to open while the other kids opened the good stuff. I was bitter.
*For Valentine's I once received a large stuffed dog with a red bandana around its neck, along with tickets to the Olympic Rodeo. I have always disliked stuffed animals and tried to exude a non-fluffy aura so people could easily observe that about me. The giver was a well-meaning Elders quorum president from my singles ward. I think he liked me because I brushed my hair and wore makeup on Sundays. Things we had in common: the church, a pulse . . . (crickets chirping).
(side note: I've noticed that a lot of people operate on this assumption in setting people up, too: single + member of church = eternal companionship potential. I have set people up twice in my life, and both times it was pretty unspectacular. Not my special talent, which is sad, because I would love to set two people up and have them fall madly in love and get married, owing all of their bliss to me. And their children would win the Pulitzer Nobel Prize, also owing to my set-up.)
*When one of my friends came home from his mission, he gave me a stuffed bear from Ireland. His companion had asked what he would do with the bear, and he said, "Oh, I'll give it to the girl I marry." When I went on my mission I purged my belongings. I told that friend that we should basically never speak to each other again. I discarded all other stuffed animals (i.e. the bandana-ed dog), but for some inexplicable reason, I kept that bear. And I later married that friend.