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Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day

What would be the best thing you could give me on Valentine's Day, someone who does not appreciate cheesy Hallmark sentiments, who is trying not to ingest excess carbs, who appreciates flowers but would rather not have them killed on my account, who doesn’t need another piece of jewelry or anymore dust collectors in her life, someone for whom a homecooked meal would be a bigger treat than a night out?

How about having all the school work done cheerfully and then the entire house cleaned, thoroughly, and all laundry folded and put away by my darling daughters? Well, they folded most of the clothes and are baking cookies for me. I’m going to call that a perfect gift.

Last night when I went over to Wal-mart (yes, I’m part of the problem) to pick up my network hardware and supplies for L's Valentine exchange at school today, last minute being as good as any, I was horrified by the vast amount of pseudo-holiday junk. The aisles were completely torn apart. We were seeking one extra card pack because the first pack I picked up weeks ago, the Hello Kitty cards, only came in a box of 24, and Thursday I was notified that there are 30 children in her class. A woman in a little blue vest with a smiley face on it informed me, with an attitude that screamed, "You should know better than that!" that there were no more kid cards left. In disbelief and determination I dug through the ravaged remains until I victoriously located the one and only set of kiddy Valentines left in town, Polly Pockets. Perfect.

The rules were that they only sign their name, leaving the recipient’s name blank, and there must be one card for every student. We don’t want anyone’s feelings to be hurt, but seriously, who keeps track of these things? I never compared my Valentines cache to anyone else’s. Did I get cards from the mean girls or the weird kid? Did I have fewer cards than anyone else? I can’t remember. The only one that meant anything anyway was the card from Joe Riggs. It had a furry, bucktoothed creature on the front with the cryptic, “I gopher you!” I knew what he was trying to tell me. Just like when he serenaded me with “Bungle in the Jungle” out on the playground.

L’s haul today was a collection of mass marketed cartoon characters, a few premium cards with candy attached (from the really fun moms), one goody bag containing a pencil, bendable heart guy, and a fortune cookie (from the Chinese kid), and one handmade card.

Let me leave you with this song, which is technically not a Valentine song, but all this talk of hearts and love, and the fact that we recently rediscovered this gem of a CD when we cleaned out another box, has this playing in my head today like a loop tape.

Share the love.

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