Good morning Everyone!
It may have escaped the notice of some of you, although I scarcely know how given Madison Avenue’s best attempt to thoroughly cover the airways with advertisements about the darn thing, but today is Valentine’s Day. So, to get the obligatory greeting over with, Happy Valentine’s Day!
I do sincerely hope that each of you has a good day today, but I have a confession to make – I used to really hate Valentine’s Day. FN.
For me, it started once I went from elementary school to junior high and up, which was when we stopped filling out little Valentines that we brought to school for our entire class. This fun and kind tradition was replaced with fundraisers by various clubs in school where you could purchase a carnation to be sent to a special someone, and the club would deliver the carnation to whoever it was during the school day. (Carnations must have been very inexpensive, as I went to junior high and high school in three different states across two coasts – California, Virginia (the D.C. area) and Alabama – and carnations were used every time.) If you weren’t going to get a carnation – and in grades 7 through 12 I got a total of two – one from my Mom [Thanks Mom!] and one from my best friend in grade 11 [thank you Debbie Gronich; I only wish you hadn't had to move before the next year!] - it was a form of water torture to creep through an entire day watching some people get dozens of carnations and knowing I wasn’t going to get one but sort of hoping I would get one still. I have to admit that left deep bruises on my soul I didn’t think would ever heal. (However, at those ages, lots of things seem to leave deep bruises we have a hard time recovering from.) Until…
1) I was old enough to appreciate the fact that my grandparents and aunt and uncle always sent me a card and a little something and I realized that important love isn’t solely romantic love. (You manage to lose sight of that during junior school and high school when you are not part of the “in” crowd.)
2) Mark and I fell in love after my second year in college and I realized how strong, solid and deep his love for me is. I don’t have to worry about Valentine’s Day anymore; I know he loves me. Just for the record, his gifts are much better than silly carnations!
3) Kayla came to live with us and she and I filled out little Valentines for every member of her classes together. I hate that this year (next year in 5th grade she moves on to the middle school where they may not do this) may be the last year we do it.
4) I decided that at least some of those people must have sent the carnations to themselves so they would look more popular. It’s probably not true, but it makes me feel better.
5) I was old enough to appreciate the scene at any grocery store in America at 5:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day evening. Try it this evening if you need a laugh; you will see men (and some women) desperately wandering the aisles trying to decide which of the leftover, slightly wilted flower arrangements would best disguise the fact that they forgot to get something for their special someone on this day, whether a bag of Reese’s cups counts as Valentine’s chocolate, if a one day old cookie cake or a new Swiffer sweeper would do the trick. (Hint: Nix the Swiffer sweeper; a gift of nothing for Valentine’s Day is better than a cleaning utensil, unless the cleaning utensil is a subscription to a weekly cleaning service for a year.)
So, today, while I am not exactly a fan of the “holiday,” I at least no longer hate Valentine’s Day – although as I schlep into Kayla’s school this morning in the rain with 40 Capri Suns, 64 Rice Krispies treats (yes, of course, I bought them at the store – you thought I made them at home?), 23 paper plates for the afterschool care party, a box of 24 Valentines with Nerds carefully tucked into them, a book bag and a 10-year-old, I may have to work hard to keep from falling into old thought habits!
Have a great day everyone!
FN. A misanthropist is someone who hates men, a misogynist is someone who hates women, so hence the word misovalentinist – someone who hates Valentine’s Day. Spell check is having a fit!