A Midwesterner Moves to Mexico - Valentine’s Day and US elections

When I was eight and in Brownie Scouts, we had a contest to see who could build the best Valentine Box out of a shoe box. 

I went all out, using every bit of glitter and glue that I could get my hands on. I put red hearts and white doilies on every inch and added gold and silver stick-on stars for extra bling. I wrote “The Most Special Valentine’s Day Box” on all six sides in the cursive writing that none of my friends had mastered yet. And I added glitter to every speck of errant glue.

It was so good that I voted for myself.

Unfortunately, voting for yourself wasn’t allowed – a fact I was reminded of when the troop leader mentioned that one box had been disqualified because of selfish voting. Even though I wasn’t mentioned by name, my crying probably gave me away.

The box that won that year was less showy than mine – a simple red box with a single heart and a greeting to those walking past that said simply, “Happy Valentine’s Day to You.” 

It’s Valentines’ Day again and, in the United States, it’s also primary season – a time when the presidential hopefuls try to add the most glitter to get your attention.  

There’s an egotism that leads someone to run for president – an “I’m the best” mentality that too often allows them to forget that the real question should be “and how are you.”

As I read about the debates and the empty promises and accusations that are made, I find myself thinking of my long ago Valentine box. And I can’t help but think that nearly every candidate would have voted for themselves in that Valentine Box competition.  

I don’t think I like the company.

They should have learned the lesson at age eight.