Don’t you just hate it when the stores put up the Valentine’s Day stuff so early? Where are the stovepipe hats? The fake beards? What has the country come to when we can’t exploit our forefathers’ greatness for commercial gain?
I, for one, don’t intend to treat February 12 like it’s just another day. What sort of cake do you think would be appropriate for Lincoln’s birthday? What says “Emancipation Proclamation” and “Preserved the Union”? Perhaps I will just make something that doesn’t require eggs, as I don’t particularly want to go to the store. I bet it’s just madness out there! I hate how these holidays just creep up on you.
Speaking of creepy, the kids are having their Valentine’s Day parties at school today, which means that we stayed up late filling out valentine cards last night. “Late” being loosely defined as “past 8:30 p.m., which was when I would have preferred they all be in bed.” I’m not really too into Valentine’s Day myself. Never have been. Two reasons: 1) I never had an actual “valentine” of the romantic variety on Valentine’s Day until the year I got engaged to my husband, and by that time I was so jaded and cynical that I didn’t really care. (About Valentine’s Day, I mean. Of course I cared about him. At least I did then, I’m pretty sure.) 2) I’m lazy. It’s hard enough to remember to buy stuff for Christmas, you know? So whatever.
Yesterday, I had this conversation in the car:
Mister Bubby: Mom, do I have to give valentines to everyone in my class?
Mad: Yes. You have to.
MB: But there are people in my class that I don’t like.
Mad: I know. That’s just how the holiday works. It’s stupid.
I certainly don’t advocate a return to those days when kids like Charlie Brown went home heartbroken because they didn’t get any valentines. At the same time, I think it’s pretty meaningless to give valentines to everyone, including people you can’t stand. At the same time, I am philosophically opposed to outlawing Valentine’s Day observation because that seems a little Communist to me. Why? I don’t know. It just does. So fine, we’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day and we’ll like it. But that’s not why I started this line of blogging.
So last night I remembered that Elvis still needed to address his valentines to his classmates. That’s pretty impressive, I think, that I remembered before the day of the party, but that’s not the point of the story. The circumstances of my life are such that I rarely have to involve myself in Valentine’s Day-related shopping. My mother-in-law celebrates every holiday enough for all of us, so she had sent up boxes of packaged valentines for the kids to give to their classmates because, you know, that’s a grandmother’s job: see stuff at the store that your grandkids might in a million years want or need and mail it to them. I’m grateful that my mother-in-law is this way because it saves me the headache of realizing at 8 p.m. Valentine’s Day Party Eve that I haven’t so much as bought the box of stupid valentines for their stupid parties and saying, “Dammit dammit dammit stupid Valentine’s Day,” until I figure out what the heck I want to do about it. Because I really am that tired at 8 p.m.
So, yes, fortunately I already had the valentines; all that was needed was for Elvis to put his classmates’ names on them. So I opened up the box, and they were Nerds valentines–you know, the candy-type of Nerds. Nerds valentine cards that you addressed and then punched something out of them so that you could fold them around a mini-box of Nerds candy. Suppressing my annoyance at how it’s become socially acceptable, yea, almost mandatory to give children candy at every possible opportunity, I was all set to de-perforate these valentines on their perforated lines when I realized a couple things: 1) There was only a very tiny available space to write the kids’ names, and Elvis does not have very tiny penmanship. 2) The cards all said stuff like “Happy Valentine’s Day, NERD!” and “Love the NERD you’re with!”, neither of which seemed like appropriate Valentine’s Day messages for a first-grader to give his autistic classmates (i.e., his classmates with autism). I mean, sure, it’s most likely that the kid isn’t going to read the card, especially seeing how there’s candy attached to it, but on the very-off chance that he does, there’s also an off-chance that he might think that he’s being called a nerd, or alternatively, that he’s just been treated to vaguely creepy play on a Crosby, Stills & Nash song that he’s never heard of. Either way, I was deeply put off; plus, I also realized that I didn’t have the first idea of how I was supposed to twist the card into a shape that would hold a mini-box of Nerds–not that I had to necessarily do that, as there was plenty of tape in the house, but it’s just the principle of the thing: three strikes and you’re out, NERD!
So I ended up making something on the computer for him–something with plenty of white space to write names and no creepy/insulting messages–and fortunately there was enough color ink left in the printer for that, and it all worked out. But man, that was a semi-stressful fifteen minutes, let me tell you.
I should have made Abraham Lincoln valentines. That’s what I should have done! Another wasted opportunity. Oh, well.
How will you celebrate Lincoln’s birthday today?