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My Big, Fat '80s Valentine to All the Boys I've Loved Before

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Of course I love Valentine's Day! Hearts, flowers, chocolate, perfume, lace, cupids, doilies, pink, red, candy... I love all that.

This love of love day goes back to childhood and the fact that my mother made every holiday a major event.

The house would be decorated in red and pink cutout hearts, which clashed against the insane orange, yellow and avocado green tulip wallpaper in the kitchen. Cookies would be baked and brought to school shaped like hearts with hand-frosted sayings like "URAQT" and "INVU."

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My mom was crafty and clever and I would beam when she came into my class in the middle of the day with her homemade goodness.

Memories of Valentine's Day during my high school years are, of course, much more dra-ma-tic.

I have kept diaries and journals since I was 8. Ninety-nine percent of the entries from age 12 on up focus on one subject: BOYS.

At the end of the high school day, I loved somebody... apparently anybody. I wrote their name in big, bubbly '80s handwriting in a heart.

Let's give a proper shout out to all the boys I've loved before taken from the bottoms of the pages of my teenage diaries -- Julio Iglesias/Willie Nelson style.

Ready?

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My first real, official boyfriend, Albert. Tampa, Florida, I must have been 14 or so. He was 16 and from Cuba and had the thickest, waviest black hair ever. He wore tight parachute pants. Whenever I hear "Feel For You" by Chaka Khan, I think of Albert break-dancing outside at a park on a giant piece of cardboard.

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Jason. He gave me the biggest damn balloon ever on Valentine's Day. It exploded five minutes after this photo was taken on the popcorn-ceiling of our living room.

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I loved Jason SO much I devoted an entire page to him.
Jason and I had a torrid extra-dramatic relationship -- there were a lot of emergency breakthrough calls (remember those?) I flushed his pot down my toilet when I was mad at him. My dad told me that wasn't a very nice thing to do.

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Steve worked at Oak Tree at Tampa Bay Mall and dated me after he broke up with my b/b/f Susanne. Steve was a "waver" with hair that swooped in front of one eye. He wore shiny black shoes and was always dressed way better than I did and I think his family was from France? He was a bad kisser with really good hair.

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Whenever I hear any song off of Hysteria by Def Leppard, I think of Larry.
Love bites.

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I have no clue who Josh is and that doesn't surprise me, seeing that my love for
him was questionable.

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Again, no idea who Jeff is/was. Apparently he was cute.

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I love Mike. And Depeche Mode.
And Magenta from Rocky Horror.
And smiley faces

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Kevin was on the football team.
On this day he looked at me in the hall, so he gets his name inside a heart.

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Help.

As ridiculous as some of these entries were, I love having a record of them all.

It's amusing, to say the least, to look back at my younger self. To run my hand over the lovingly-made collages, to roll my eyes at the passion of (all) those teen crushes, and to admire the (intense) enthusiasm and feelings I had for these boys -- even if it was for like 10 minutes and they had no idea who I was.

Today it makes me want to write my own name in a big 'ol flowery heart and cut out little pictures of roses and quotes from Seventeen and Sassy magazines.

Happy Valentines Day.

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See more of Lori's '80s love on Drawn to the 80s where her 5-year-old draws the hits of the decade. A version of this post originally appeared on her blog, Once Upon a Product.