The fun of every holiday will be completely sucked out of it and replaced instead with annoying and time-consuming errands, often requiring multiple trips to Target.
Is this not the truest statement ever? Think about it. Easter requires baskets and candies and that grass stuff that always gets everywhere and is impossible to clean up, not to mention hard boiled eggs and food coloring. For Halloween you need to go to five different costume stores because one has pirate hats but not swords, and another has fairy wings but no tights, and then you have to buy the decorations and put them up and get the candy and take the decorations down. Thanksgiving requires ten trips to the market if you’re hosting, and two or three if you’re just cooking a side dish and bringing flowers to someone else. Christmas – oh, God, don’t even get me started on Christmas. Which brings us to our current annoying holiday of the moment, Valentine’s Day.
I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. The whole thing just feels like a big scam to me. I mean, I don’t want my husband to spend a hundred bucks on roses that normally cost twenty, and I don’t need to spend two hundred dollars on a meal that would be seventy five any other day of the year. And I also don’t like the idea of having love dictated to me. If my husband needs a special day to remember to tell me he loves me, then we’ve got much bigger problems than a heart-shaped Whitman Sampler can solve. And besides, who needs a big box of chocolates lying around the house? As if all of the macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders and ice cream that I buy “for the kids” isn’t making me fat enough. So we decided, early on, not to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Like being Jews at Christmas, or foreign tourists at Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day was something that other couples did while we took advantage of empty movie theaters and short lines at the In-N-Out Drive Thru. It was awesome. But then we went and had kids, and slurp, there went the fun.
It all began with a note that came home from Harper’s kindergarten teacher last week: Please have your child bring a Valentine for every student in the class. Harper, of course, immediately announced that she wanted High School Musical Valentines. Easy enough, I thought. But the market didn’t have them, and neither did Walgreens. I tried Party City , and then, of course, I ended up at Target, as I always do. But still, no HSM Valentines. I would have to improvise. It was stressful – I wanted her to have Valentines that were cool, but they didn’t have Hannah Montana, they didn’t have American Girl, and, as we know, they didn’t have High School Musical. Outside of those three, I have no idea what’s considered cool by six year old girls. And I certainly had no idea about the boys. They had Pirates of the Caribbean Valentines, but is that cool, or is that cheesy? They had Bratz girls, but Harper doesn’t play with them and she would hate those. I ended up spending two hours – TWO HOURS – poring through Valentines, as if this were the most important decision of my life. As if I were picking out my freaking wedding dress. And then, I spent another two hours throwing hundreds of dollars worth of things I don’t need into my cart, because that is what people do when they go to Target.
For me, the fun of Valentine’s Day was in not celebrating Valentine’s Day. But now, because of my children – who I adore, but still, it is their fault – I am just another sucker at Target who buys bricks of chocolates shaped like Darth Vader and chocolate roses with plastic green stems. Now, Valentine’s Day is just one more chore to add to my to-do list each year. It is no fun, no fun at all. But shhh. Don’t tell anyone who doesn’t have kids. Because things they don’t tell you about being a parent #3,682, is that there is nothing more enjoyable than watching the rookies figure all of this stuff out for themselves.