I Love You, And I Hope You Become Diabetic.
by Risa Green
It’s Valentine’s Day. My children just got home from school, and I’m trying to figure out when “I love you” became synonymous with “I hope you die of a sugar overdose.” I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, Valentine’s Day meant giving cheap little cards with pictures of Snoopy or Miss Piggy or the Incredible Hulk to everyone in the class (and that means everyone, including the boy who used to lick his locker and the girl who insisted on talking like a horse), so that nobody’s feelings got hurt. Maybe the teacher gave everyone a heart-shaped cookie and a few conversation hearts, but that was it. There was no such thing as Fun Dip packs with To: and From: written on the front, or Valentines that come with little holes to stick heart-shaped lollipops through, or mini-bags of Skittles that come with stick-on cards. Multiply that by twenty-five kids, and suddenly, Valentine’s Day has become Halloween, the sequel, and I’m not talking about the scary movie with Jason in it.
Being the (selectively) anti-establishment mom that I am, I refuse to send candy to school with my kids’ Valentines. To their friends, I’m sure I’m like that annoying dentist in the neighborhood who always gives out toothbrushes on Halloween. But a little peer pressure has never stopped me from being a geek before, and it’s not going to stop me now. This year, I sent my son with Spongebob tattoos, and my daughter with pencils (for the boys) and heart-shaped Silly Bandz (for the girls). But, alas, I was the only one. They each came home with shoeboxes filled with the aforementioned Fun Dips, lollipops and Skittles, not to mention chocolate hearts, Hershey kisses, and jumbo packs of Sour Patch Straws. And that’s not including the stuff they had already eaten on the bus ride home. It’s also not including the “special treat” my third grader received from her kindergarten buddy (my daughter: well, actually, she forgot it, but then her teacher felt bad for me, so she got me a donut, which actually was really delicious), or the one my kindergartener received from his third grade buddy (my son: I got a really big card with Hershey kisses, Jolly Ranchers and Starburst on it, and a brownie). For the first time since, well, since Halloween, my kids came home from school and didn’t ask for a snack the second they walked in the door.