I just spent a mind-numbing half hour helping my son sign eighteen valentine cards for his classmates. Even he was getting bored, evident by his increasingly lax standards of how to make the letters in his name: “This is a different way to make a ‘C,’ Mom.” Looks good to me, buddy. No one is going to pay much attention to your valentine anyway since mom here went the cheap-o route this year and got the ones that don’t come with any candy.
I don’t care much about Valentine’s Day. It’s not that I dislike it; I am just completely apathetic toward it. Valentine’s Day is like the fifth guy from *NSync in the world of holidays…you know, the one that’s not Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, or JC Chavez. You don’t mind that it’s there, but you also wouldn’t really notice if it wasn’t. (And since I spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding which holidays the other guys would be, please indulge this small tangent: Timberlake is totally the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s triplet threat. Fatone is Halloween; goofy, fun, and you know he has some mad skills for trading bad jokes for candy. Bass, he’s a firework who lets his colors burst like the Fourth of July. And just like the Easter Bunny tries to be as cool as Santa, Chavez ain’t no Timberlake. Now back to the point.)
I am not the only one in my house who feels this way about Valentine’s day. My husband has made a declaration that I never have to buy him a card as long as we live. He thinks they are a racket. In fact, he doesn’t want me to get him anything for Valentine’s day…well, anything that costs money. Wink, wink. (*eye roll*) But we always feel the need to help the kids put something together for one another. I have to be honest. Despite the fact that we know we all love each other, these little tokens of Cupid feel a little forced and trite. For example, my daughter informed me today that she was going to write a poem for everyone in our family: “Roses are red, Violets are blue, Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you.” (Members of our family, I am so sorry to ruin the surprise.) Forced. Trite.
What my kids don’t know is that they give me little valentines all year long. And this is what they look like in my head:
That means the pressure is off for Valentine’s Day. I already have everything I need; and I am pretty sure the rest of my family does, too. So we can instead enjoy the fun of Mardi Gras today and properly stuff our faces for Fat Tuesday. And then tomorrow on Ash Wednesday we can realize that all the crap we ate today might lead to that whole “to dust you shall return” thing happening just a wee bit sooner than later. But at least we won’t have to worry about last-minute Valentine gifts.
However, maybe someone should send something to that fifth guy from *NSync. This is his holiday after all.