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Friday, February 12, 2016

Be My Pop Culture Valentine!

So Valentine's Day is set to arrive in just a couple of days from now, and honestly I don't care if it comes or not.  I've made no secret about Valentine's Day being my least favourite holiday.  If there's anything to look forward to around this time of year, it's stocking up on cheap heart shaped chocolate on the 15th of February.

But, when I was a child, I thought very differently about Valentine's Day.

Back in the days in which I was in school, I used to love going to school on Valentine's Day because it was one of the holidays that was celebrated in style.  We would have Valentine's Day parties where we would gorge on red, pink, and white coloured sweets.  We'd often watch a couple of movies centered around the themes of love, sharing, and togetherness - which aside from that one day we had to watch Strawberry Shortcake videos wasn't a bad thing.

But perhaps the best part about Valentine's Day at school was getting a lot of Valentine's Day cards from your peers.

(And yes, everyone got a card.  The teachers made sure of that.)

I used to love getting Valentine's Day cards from my classmates.  I didn't particularly like making the Valentine's Day boxes in art class for storing our Valentines (that Simpsons clip with Ms. Hoover making Lisa and Ralph Wiggum make the same boxes really did happen at my school!), but I loved to see all the different card designs out there.

And of course, part of the fun of Valentine's Day was going to the store to choose what cards I would give out.

So, for this edition of the blog, I went through my memory banks, and found a handful of Valentine's cards that I remember giving out to people, cards that I remember getting, and just for fun, cards that didn't exist back then but I would have loved to have given out if they were available when I was a kid.

I think this is going to be a fun topic!  I'll start with cards that I gave out first.

These DuckTales cards are the earliest cards I remember handing out.  It was in the second grade, when DuckTales was extremely popular.  I do remember saving all of the Webby cards (the little girl duck in the cartoon) for the girls in my class.  I gave Huey, Dewey, and Louie to my best friends.  I saved Launchpad for the teacher.  And to the rich kids who teased me, they got Scrooge McDuck!  It was easy!

The following year, I handed out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cards.  I can't remember if I handed them out to the girls too or if I just gave them to the guys in my class.  I don't quite remember.  Either way, these cards were totally radical, and I think it was the only time I ever saw the word "COWABUNGA" on a Valentine card.

I also remember giving out Super Mario Valentines, but can't remember if it was in the 4th or 5th grade.  I also remember having a very hard time finding them, as it seemed that they were selling out as fast as they could get them in stock.  I got very lucky that I got these when I did!

And, the very last year I gave out Valentine's Day cards, I think I was in the sixth grade.  By then I had pretty much discovered that I wasn't as much of a fan of the holiday as I thought I was.  So to celebrate my cynicism of Valentine's Day, I figured Garfield was a great mascot.  It would've been even more ironic if Valentine's Day had fallen on a Monday that year.  Sadly in 1993, it fell on a Sunday instead.  Close, but no cigar.

Okay, so those are some of the ones I remember sending.  What ones did I actually get?  Have a look.

I don't even know who I got these Valentine's from, but I loved them!  Whoever came up with the idea to release Beetlejuice cartoon Valentine's cards was an absolute genius.  In fact, the bottom one posted here was a card I actually remember getting!  I still wish I had it so I could remember who sent it to me, but that was easily one of the better ones I've gotten!

You can tell I attended school during the 1980s, right?  How else can you explain the fact that ALF Valentine's cards existed?  This was another card that I totally remember getting.  And at the time, I totally loved it!  But much like the television show, ALF has not aged well.  Neither has this card.

Also in the 1980s, I recall Michael Jordan's image being everywhere.  You saw him on basketball posters.  You saw him eating Ballpark franks.  You even saw him in his underpants on those Hanes commercials.  And in this case, you saw him on Valentine's Day cards.  At least I can say I got the generic "You're cool" card.  Interesting fact - I remember who did send me this one.  Ironically enough, it was from someone I hated!  Oh well...I guess I can be thankful I got one from them at all.

I admit it.  I loved watching Tiny Toon Adventures when I was younger.  And I seem to remember that a lot of other kids in my 5th grade class loved watching it too.  So much so that a quarter of my Valentine's that year were Tiny Toon themed.  Here's one example for you.

And, of course, Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without a quintessential Peanuts card.  At least I can say that I scored more Valentines than Charlie Brown ever did.

And now for the fun part.  I found a lot of examples of fan-made Valentine's Day cards out on the Internet (mostly on Pinterest), and I think it is a crying shame that these cards were not produced back in the days in which I was handing cards out.

Like, how about these "Full House" Valentines?  With "Fuller House" coming out soon, this would be a great time to bring them out.  I posted this one of Stephanie here, but there's one of each cast member available.  The Danny Tanner one of "I'd fold your laundry" is especially creepy.

Or, how about a set of "Golden Girls" Valentines?  This one features Bea Arthur, but I'm sure the whole cast will have their own card.  Admit it.  You've thought of it before, haven't you?

I'm actually shocked they didn't come up with "Saved By The Bell" Valentines.  Why, think of the possibilities.  You could have Kelly doing a cheer proclaiming her love.  You could have Jessie shouting about how she's SO EXCITED to be yours!  And in the case of this example, you could just transcribe the text that Zack Morris spoke in that episode where he taped subliminal advertisements over those Beau Revere tapes so that Kelly would ask him to the dance.

"Family Matters" Valentines would have been all right...except that most of them would have probably featured Steve Urkel.  This was one of the only ones I could find that had a different character.

And finally, with the arrival of "Girl Meets World", why not release "Boy Meets World" Valentines?  By the time I reached seventh grade, everyone I knew watched it.  Make it happen, people!

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