Sunday, February 12, 2017

valentines

You guys, I am so over Valentines. I'm not talking about having a romantic date with my spouse, because that was never a thing for me and Stuart, whose favorite alternative name for the holiday is "Jerk Appreciation Day."

No, I'm talking about the kid part, where you have to buy or make Valentines for everyone in your kid's class. It was cute in preschool, and sweet in kindergarten. After that we got over it pretty quick.  Handmade Valentines are just a total pain in the ass. Am I right?

I remember when I was a kid, it was all about the candy. We just ripped into every card or tiny box, tearing right by the generic notes and terrible Valentine puns and went right for the candy. Whoever gave you the Valentine stuffed with the most message hearts was your best friend for the day. Bonus points for chocolates, but those were very rare. We, on the other hand, were always the stingy ones who didn't even give candy, but handed out Disney knock-off Valentines from the grocery store, names hastily scrawled on each envelope. One year we may have put stickers on them, but I can't be sure.

Anymore, classroom Valentines parties irk me more deeply than this surface-level annoyance. Some families at my kids' school don't have stable homes to go to or enough food to eat, much less the time and resources to come up with Valentines for everyone in the class, so if they want to hand out cards they have to go to the office and get a package of whatever was donated by the social workers or is leftover from the year before. Aside from that, there's all the plastic junk and sugary food that inevitably is incorporated into these classroom parties...but you can't really complain about it or you end up being THAT HIPPIE MOM who ruins all the fun and hands out organic carrot sticks for prizes. No thank you. I'll just bitch about it on my blog instead.

Part of the reason I can't get enthusiastic about Valentine's Day is that by this point in February, we have serious celebration fatigue. November through early March is one long marathon of holidays and birthdays for all four of us in my house plus a few in the extended family. By Valentine's Day, I've had it with presents and treats and baking cakes and I need to save what little energy I have left for Stuart's birthday in March so he doesn't feel cheated.

Anya is in 3rd grade and we totally recycled last year's lame idea for Valentines for her class. We found a bunch of corny jokes and printed them on red paper, which she cut apart to distribute to her classmates. If she's feeling frisky she'll draw hearts on them, but that's optional. Today, as she was getting everything ready in the Word document, she noticed a distinct gender bias. "Why is it always the boy asking the girl the question?" she wondered. I told her she was welcome to change the wording. Instead of What did the boy bat/bee/ghost say to the girl bat/bee/ghost on Valentine's Day? it could read instead, What did one bat/bee/ghost say to the other bat/bee/ghost? In the end, she decided it wasn't worth the trouble, so all of her Valentine's cards are sexist and assume heteronormality. Yes, it's annoying, but it's just a bunch of Valentine's cards, and in the end we don't really care enough to fix it.

I don't even know if 5th graders pass out cards but if Daniel wants to do that, he's got about 24 hours to get that together.

So what do you think? Am I a Valentine's Day Grinch? A lazy mom? Or am I just smarter and saner than everyone on Pinterest?

No comments: