Boys and girls, I, Wiggles, am so old that I recall the quaint custom of Valentine’s Day folders taped to the front of each student’s desk in my first grade classroom. The unwritten rule was that one put a VDay greeting into every folder.
Sounds simple? Not so much for me. I wracked my brain, but kept coming up one short. I recited the names of my fellow sufferers in the care of Miss Kastokis, whom I believed to be one of the dumbest adults I had yet to encounter. In utter frustration I assured my mother I had forgotten no one. But she insisted there was one more person in the class, and, darn it, my count was off by one stinking kid.
“There’s nobody else!” I wailed.
“Oh, yes, there is, Wiggles.”
I swore I’d dredged up every last little classmate. A smile twitched around Mah’s mouth.
“Wiggles, it’s you. You are the one other person in the class.”
Huh. Me. Hadn’t thought of that. Thus began my lifelong confusion about numbers, figures, equations, fractions, algebra, geometry – you name it. As Lewis Carroll summed up, “Mortification and derision.” Indeed. And to think I’m the one in charge of the family checkbook!
Happy Valentine’s Day, One and All.