Valentine's Day is a big deal in the world of lower education. If you haven't spent the last several weeks plotting and planning how your child is going to express his affection for his classmates in a Pinterest-worthy way, then I envy you.
It seems to me that Valentine's Day has changed a lot since I was a kid. Back in my day, stay-at-home Moms were too busy drinking TaB and watching soap operas to worry about doing crafty shit. These days, if you're not creating some sort of Martha Stewart-worthy card from garbage and glitter glue, it just doesn't cut it.
Valentines, then:Remind your Mom at 5:30pm on February 13th that Valentine's Day is tomorrow and that you're supposed to have enough cards for everyone in your class. Your Mom takes a break from preparing tuna casserole to yell at you for not informing her earlier.
Your Mom packs everyone into the station wagon for a quick trip to the local drug store. It only takes two minutes to get three kids into the car because no one wears seatbelts and carseats are for pussies.
You peruse the Valentine aisle at your local Thrifty, while your little sister stands in front of the ice cream display and screams for a scoop of Bubble Gum flavor. You make the mistake of complaining to your Mother that they are out of all the good cards, for which you are rewarded with her yelling at you in public about needing to plan ahead.
You select a couple packages of Barbie cards, and your older brother throws in a box of Transformer Valentines even though he thinks that girls are "gross" and Valentine's Day is "lame". If your Mom is in a good mood and feeling generous, she lets you buy boxes of Conversation Hearts to go with your cards.
Your Mom pays for all of your Valentine's paraphenalia, throws in a pack of Virginia Slims for herself, and puts it all in a plastic bag that was provided to her, for free, by the store.
You arrive home just before the tuna casserole starts to burn, and you and your brother scribble your names on your Valentine cards while your Mom makes a salad with iceberg lettuce and Thousand Island dressing. By the time dinner is served, your cards are packed up and ready for school and you are excited to hand them out to your friends, especially since you got to include candy this year.
Total time spent: 45 - 60 minutes depending on how far you lived from Thrifty.
Valentines, now:One month before, you receive an email from your child's school reminding you about Valentine's Day. Included in the email are the following guidelines: no commercially produced cards, no candy, no gender-specific themes, and every child in class must receive a personalized handcrafted card.
You spend the next several weeks cruising Pinterest or trying to come up with a unique idea that reflects your child's personality. You make several trips to your local craft store to purchase assorted Valentine-themed items that you think will inspire his creativity.
The weekend before Valentine's Day you set-up a craft table to facilitate the production of 36 heart-shaped cards. The selection includes stickers, feathers, glue, pens, crayons and lots of glitter. Your child spends 4.5 minutes throwing glitter all over your house and smearing himself with glue before declaring that he's bored.
Each time you try to interest your child in making Valentine cards, he screams "no" and throws glitter in your face. You curse whoever invented glitter.
Instead of watching Empire after your children go to bed, you are now forced to spend the next six nights handcrafting the Valentine cards for your child's classmates. You pray that your spouse is getting you childcare for Valentine's Day instead of sexy lingerie.
Total time spent: 28 days, 6 hours, and 43 minutes
Now if you'll excuse me, I have 22 more of these to put together...
...because I'm a sucker for punishment and couldn't just keep it simple.