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Is Valentine’s Day Child’s Play?

Isn’t what makes romantic love special the fact that it’s exclusionary?  It’s different from familial or friendship love because you love that one person differently from all others and it is conditional rather than unconditional.  So how in the world did Valentine’s Day become a day when little children send cards to every other child in their class?  Little children who don’t even understand what romance is are sort of forced into this celebration.  I think children celebrating Valentine’s is an odd custom.

I am most certainly not from the generation where everyone gets a trophy for participation, but regardless, when I was in elementary school, I had to sit down the night before our classroom Valentine’s party and address 30-some-odd cards to every child in my class.  Obviously the little cards we sent weren’t really too romantic.  I remember one had a skunk on the front and was addressed to a “Little Stinker.”  That stands out because I chose that for someone who fit the bill, if you know what I mean.  I guess I’m glad that teachers make sure all children receive cards, or my little homemade-shoebox-made-into-a-mailbox would have been pretty empty.

I wasn’t really a friendly child.  Kids sort of disgusted me even back then.  The girl who didn’t comb her hair in the back, the boy who picked his nose and stuck his boogers under his desk, the kid who ate everyone’s prunes at lunch and didn’t show up the next day.  Those kids all had names and all received a Valentine from me.  There was nothing exclusionary or special about that.  So can we just admit that Valentine’s Day is sort of like Halloween, but invented by women?  Instead of being satisfied with a glut of candy, it’s a perfect time to add a bouquet.  Maybe a ring.  And for those of us who don’t have a significant other, it’s a really depressing day.  Ok, this is a painful admission, but when my mother remarried after my sainted (hahaha) father’s passing, she remarried on Valentine’s Day.  How quaint.  Gag!

You may be intuiting I’m not the most romantic soul about now.  I do watch most of the Hallmark movies (which are all exactly the same) so that must count for something.  I stopped at Walmart and saw AISLES of Valentine merch.  OMG.  That wasn’t even counting the greeting cards that are almost $5 a pop.  A lot of the themed gifts are geared for teachers.  I have many friends who are teachers or retired teachers and I know their students and parents adore them and want to celebrate them for every holiday.  They get so loaded up on tchotchkes and Starbucks cards, it becomes a waste of money.  How many “A+ Teacher” mugs full of chocolates does a person need?  This is what my DF Shira says as a retired teacher.  “To be honest, handmade cards work the best.  I’ve worked in pretty poor areas and it breaks my heart to even receive a $2 mug.”  When parents get to know where teachers like to eat out, get nails done, or if they even drink coffee, gift cards are appreciated when they are in the family’s budget.

I do love the thought of Galentine’s celebrations.  Apparently this holiday was the creation of Amy Poehler of the TV show Parks and Rec, and is the celebration of gal pals.  I would like to see a gender-neutral celebration where friends could come together and appreciate each other.

All of this being said, I did buy some really cute, inexpensive things at Target and Walmart and put together my cute Ikea tiered tray.  I’m inspired to get into things a bit, and who knows, maybe even get romantic!

What I’m Reading

I had some time in the airport and on the airplane this week, so that always means I get a lot of reading done.  I read The Escape Room by Megan Goldin.  It was readable, but it reminded me of The Circle which I didn’t really like, so I’m not sure I’d really recommend it.  They are stories about millennials who drink a particular work Kool-Aid because they are down on their luck, but they are really smart about exactly ONE thing.  They make disastrous choices and it just makes me cringe.  The Circle had a bad ending and at least Escape Room had a decent ending. Really if you want to go down the road of a young person getting a rotten hand and re-dealing it themselves, you can’t beat Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I am now reading This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel.

On audio, I listened to Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid which is a different genre for me.  In fact, I don’t even really know what genre it’s considered. It’s a story about a woman who was born in 1951 and was part of that generation which invented sex and drugs and rock and roll.  It’s the story of her and the members of a band she joined.  Every time I would start getting bored with hearing about addiction, another facet would be added, and I’m really glad I kept with it and finished.  It had a nice twist at the end and I would recommend it (if you’re not easily offended).

On audio I am listening to Deadline by John Dunning.  It’s a mystery involving a newspaper reporter and was written in the late 1970s.  It’s #1 a good story and #2 makes me sad for all that we’ve lost in the world with technology putting everything at our fingertips.  Fun story.

What I’m Eating

Nobody wants to know what I’m eating these days, but my sister Susie did share pics and a recipe she made Saturday night for chicken noodle casserole.  I included her notes so you know what changes she made.

Chicken and Noodle Casserole

I covered the vegetables and let them cook a bit to soften. I used a very full 2 cup glass measuring cup of chicken broth and the milk.  I was worried it had too much liquid and cooked at a boil to reduce a bit. It turned out I didn’t really need to, it turned out ok, but if you like your dishes a little more saucy, don’t reduce the liquids. I also used a full 2 cups of cheese rather than 3 cups and it was fine. I used 1 bay leaf instead of 2 to cook the noodles in the broth and left out the basil. This tasted like a yummy bowl of chicken noodle soup..it’s a “do again”!

What I’m Doing

I worked out of town the early part of the week and got to enjoy some cold and snow in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane.  Not really.  I love both of those towns, but would have preferred sunshine.  Here is a shot from my iPhone from the river walk in Spokane looking at beautiful Gonzaga University

View of Gonzaga on a snowy morning

Hub and I enjoy touring model homes and we really want some ideas for our bathroom tile surround remodel.  There’s a new community with about 12 Toll Brothers models we visited, hoping to be wowed by new ideas.  They were beautiful with beautiful yards, but at the end of the day, we can’t beat our floor plan or our wonderful community.

Yesterday I had my perfect day.  I got Walmart shopping done prior to 7 a.m., walked to the gym, rode bikes to pickle ball and walked with friend Deb in the late afternoon.  Of course, by the end of the day I could barely walk and was slightly sun-burnt, but exactly how I like spending my day!

Now you know I cannot do one project without Roxy helping. As soon as I got the cute tablecloth on and put the tiered tray on the table she jumped right up and rolled around in pure joy. That cat!

Roxy is my Valentine

4 Comment

  1. “Kids sort of disgusted me even back then.” I giggled when I read this…can hear your voice saying it. I am with you, Girl!

  2. That cat is a terror!

    The Circle: do you mean Dave Eggers book? I tried but it left me too stressed about work. I’d read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius first, or thumb through some copies of McSweeney’s first. So good.

    1. Yes, I do mean Dave Eggers and then they had the audacity to make a movie from the stress-inducing book! Thanks for the other recommendations though.

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