Love is in the air. Pink trees are in bloom. Love-struck squirrels are chasing each other through the tree tops. And tomorrow is Valentime’s Day. That’s what Nate still calls it. He also calls it a Pubic’s Cube (Rubik’s Cube), a dong (gong), and his “nibbles” (nipples), but who’s keeping track?
Me, that’s who.
The impending celebration of love reminded me of last December, over a year ago, when we were invited to Helen’s sixth birthday party. Jakey was the only boy invited and Helen had explained to her mother in all sincerity, that Jacob was her boyfriend. I think they’d been “dating” for at least six months and as one might expect, Jacob didn’t even know it.
This year for Valentine’s Day, we took a family outing to Targét and I made a hasty executive decision to purchase four boxes of Star Wars valentines. Each one came with a glow stick “light saver”— of course that’s what sold me, especially when I found no sign of Pokémon valentines. I didn’t realize until we opened the package that the “light savers” were sized for a battle between Barbie and Ken.
It did, however, bring me back to the days of Happy Valley when we would make little heart covered boxes and bags and then spend the afternoon milling about the classroom, delivering our valentines to each classmate. I would meticulously pick each card, deciding which canned saying sent just the right message. One had to be careful that certain boys didn’t get the wrong idea, while others received the perfect disclosure, communicating just the right level of coy subtlety with sayings like, “I can’t ‘bear’ to be without you!” or “You’re cool!” When I’d get home I’d review each individual valentine, reading into every saying and daydreaming as we hold hands and disappear into the sunset.
These days our schools send home flyers about “Friendship Day” and instruct us not to address each valentine because it takes too much time to pass them out. Where’s the romance in that?
Speaking of romance, on Wednesday night we set-up a Start Wars valentine assembly line:
Rip along the perforated lines,
Sign your name,
Stuff the envelopes,
Add heart stickers to close,
Add tape to close when the heart stickers don’t stick,
Repeat 64 times.
The manufacturing process is about to begin— Nate has a marker in his hand and his dad directs him to start signing.
Nate: “What do I write?”
Dad: “Uh… Herman.”
Nate: “How do I write Herman?”
I’m not sure he ever caught on to the joke, but he did finally begin writing his name. In the end, we knocked out our valentine quota just before bedtime. The boys didn’t even read the messages or thoughtfully consider the potential communication implications of “Crush the Resistance My Valentine!” or “The First Order, My Valentine!”… I’m not exactly sure what either of these mean, which can be a good strategy when blindly signing and gifting valentines.
Last night, Nate brought his valentimes home and spent a respectable amount of time enjoying each one and reading aloud who they were from. He received such loving notes as: “U R 1 in a Minion” and a hologram cheetah concluding, “You’re Purrfect!”
Jake, on the other hand, brought his bag of valentines home and immediately separated the wheat from the chaff, or the cards from the candy as it were. He then unceremoniously dumped the cards into the recycling bin without a second glance. Not even noticing the receipt of two identical, and quite cynical valentines for the first grade, depicting a grumpy cat with the saying, “One Valentine’s Day is ONE TOO MANY.” Both Cat and Colton’s parents are clearly fans of “Friendship Day.”
In any case, I hate to break it to you ladies… they say boys only have on thing on their minds and they may be right…