When I was fanatically decorating the house for Valentine’s Day, I happened to notice something interesting about my conversation hearts.
First of all, let me say how much I love the idea of conversation hearts. I don’t much like eating them, although SweeTart used to make a giant conversation heart that I used to be on pins and needles anticipating to get on Valentine’s Day. But I digress..
I love the idea of conversation hearts because they give young shy admirers everywhere a way to say what they feel to their admiree. I remember agonizing with my little friends on which conversation heart to tape to each of our classmate’s Valentines.
Back then, Valentine’s Parties at school consisted of dedicating 15 minutes of class time to depositing Valentines into desk-top construction paper mailboxes.
It was a big score if someone taped a conversation heart to your Valentine. You’d better believe that we read each and every heart, and hung onto every word. Like these.
My Girl, Hey Babe, Baby Doll, and Sweet Pea were the candy equivalent of getting passed the proverbial “Will You Go With Me? check Yes or No” note. A pretty gutsy move for a shy
girl person to tape to a Valentine card.
Love Bug, Forever, I ♥ You, and Marry Me were usually reserved for kids that were already “going together.” Where they were going, I’m not really sure. Where can the elementary set go, really? In any case, there was really no risk involved in gifting these candies to your main squeeze.
My Love, Puppy Love, True Love, and Love You were flat out laying it all on the line in an unwavering declaration of love. You really can’t mince two words when one of them is Love. At this point, you’re either all in, or you’re are about to go down in flames.
Smile! I’ve always loved the heart that said Smile! So cheery and innocent. Spreading sunshine to all. Love that. Safe and sweet. Only the very daring may have given a more forward message with their conversation heart choices. Hold Hands, Hug Me, and Kiss Me definitely fall into the Forward category. Still mostly sweet, but quickly sliding towards edgy and dangerous.
XOXO is cutesy in the instant message TTFN (ta ta for now) or TTYL (talk to you later) kind of way. The more modern representations of the Forward category might be Soul Mate, Crazy 4 U, and Adore Me.
As an aside, am I the only one that can’t see “Crazy 4 U” without involuntarily swaying and hearing Madonna’s proverbial teen Love Anthem playing in my head? Anyone?
The Life of the Party kids may choose conversation hearts to get the party started. Boogie, Time 2 Dance, Lets Ride, and Reach 4 It could be just the hearts to embolden the shy wallflower to get out there and shake their groove-thangs. Maybe.
With four kids under the age of twelve, the party got started in my living room as soon as they saw Boogie on a conversation heart. Boogie means something other than dancing to a young boy. The Universe must’ve known whom my audience was because no less than half of our bag of hearts said Boogie. The only thing that would’ve made it any better in my boys minds would have been if the other half of the bag said Fart.
Sorry I mentioned flatulence in a post about candy. I blame it on the fact that my house is a Locker Room.
The Cheering Squad hearts are right up my alley. Reach 4 It, High Five, U Can Do It, Go Go Go are the perfect confectionery encouragement. I just love throwing positive vibes out there.
But here’s where things got a little weird…
as in weirdly competitive! Step Up I can understand in the sports sense of stepping up your game; Play Now is fairly non-threatening in the context of playing a game; Game On alludes to a little pre-game trash talk which happens; But Shake It? I can’t for the life of me come up with a competitive Shake It reference unless the “sport” involves dancing on tables, which I am sure that the Conversation Heart Writers did not intend to be the case. However, I still had faith that the CHWs were upstanding citizens that were not intent on corrupting out youth. I mean, they’re Conversation Hearts for crying out loud! Conversation Hearts are symbolic of elementary school innocence, right? Right?!
Wrong. As I dug deeper into the bag o’ hearts, I unearthed a disturbing trend that I can only call The Bachelor Effect. We can thank ABC’s The Bachelor for worming its way into all aspects of popular culture. What elementary school child even understands the phrases Race Me, 1 On 1, or Pick Me, let alone has any business distributing them to their friends? But Win Me?!
Win Me proves that:
- The elementary school child is clearly no longer the sole marketing demographic for Conversation Hearts. (I hope.)
- The Bachelor has succeeded in sullying the innocence of first loves and of candy conversation hearts.
- Crazy Courtney probably moonlights as a Conversation Heart Writer.
- Bachelor Ben probably finds that fact charming because it “makes him think.”
I swear if I had found one that said C-YA Wouldn’t Want to Be Ya or Sock Monkey, I might have lost my mind.