There’s a spectrum out there.
At one end is a group of people billing and cooing today, grooming each other’s feathers and picking nits out and eating them… or whatever human equivalent feels appropriate.
At the other end is a group who snarls and hisses at the mere thought of Hallmark, brushing off the date as a fake holiday and glaring at the idiotic 20-year-old boys standing in line at Walmart with some limp flowers and a cheesy card and a sense of self-righteousness at having remembered a holiday about which they have received constant advertising and media reminders since Christmas.
I’ve always hovered a bit more toward the latter side of things, though I’m not a true anti-Valentine’s crusader. I don’t like the holiday for myself, and Willem has been well-trained in the mantra of, “Flowers on some random Tuesday mean a lot more than a gift on a contrived, pretend holiday.” We don’t exchange cards or gifts amongst ourselves, and in fact he has been so well-inoctrinated that, when he made a comment this morning about wishing we could go out to dinner tonight, it was just because it’s a Saturday without other plans. He’d forgotten it was Valentine’s Day altogether, which means most of the restaurants are going to be extra-crowded.
But I don’t have a problem with my kids enjoying the day. Obviously, we planted our lollipop plants, and I’m pleased to report it was a big success despite the fact that I collapsed, exhausted, in bed last night without setting up the last, full-lollipop-growth step. I was able to make it into the kitchen before the kids this morning, and thereby thrust, willy-nilly, a handul of candies in each bowl. The kids were happy enough with their bounty of sugar that they didn’t notice the haphazardry of the presentation.
I’ve also always helped them make Valentine’s cards, even before they had classmates to exchange them with. For the past two years, Emily has been the only kid in her class with handmade cards. This fact causes simultaneous delight and appall-ed-ness for me. One kid this year didn’t even bother writing the other kids’ names on his cards; he just signed his name a bunch of times and handed them out at random. Emily, thankfully, still thinks it’s cool that we make cards together, and I think I’ll get a few more years out of her before the uncoolness of an involved parent occurs to her.
So, I’m not totally against the holiday altogether; it just doesn’t ring my bell. Where are you, on that spectrum? Am I risking life and limb if I send a card your way, or have I already risked permanent ostracism because I didn’t actually mail out a single V-Day-related item this year?