Friday, February 13, 2009

Spoken Like A Crotchety Old Lady

Evidently I know nothing about Valentine’s Day. I thought I did. But whatever I remember about Valentine’s Day from 4th grade is clearly useless. What I remember about Valentine’s Day is that it was a day of romance, love, and general affection for your friends, classmates, and the boyfriend you wished you had but never did when Valentine’s Day rolled around. At school you handed out little cards with trains saying cheesy things like “I choo choo choose you” on them. But now, it seems, Valentine’s day is like a mini Halloween. Minus the costumes. It’s just an excuse to pass out and receive candy.

My daughter went to preschool with elaborate hand-made cards, with beautifully decorated envelopes. Ribbon and stamps decorated one side, a chocolate heart was stuck to the other side (and I only knew to do this because the preschool teacher told me that candy was involved. I swear I NEVER got candy with my valentines when I was a kid. Or I would have had much fonder feelings about the holiday, I am sure). But what she came home with was a bag full of “valentines” that had nothing to do with love, romance, or any kind of affection whatsoever. They had more to do with corporate greed and commercialism than love. Spiderman, Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, Tinkerbell, Cars....does Disney OWN Valentine's Day now? Only one of the cards even had a cute saying on it. And half of what she got had no card or message at all. Just a little Halloween sized bag of candy out of Valentine’s Day colors. See here. I'll grade them, teacher-style:

Child 1 gets a D. Although he did provide the most candy, he failed to include a card, a sweet message, or even his name.

C-. This one gets a near failing grade. "Have an amazing Valentine's Day" from Spiderman does not imply love, adoration, or even mild affection. At least the pencil has hearts on it. It's the only thing that saved Gavyn from a D.

Nerds? For Valentine's Day? What are you trying to say here, Jordan? And the Scooby Doo card attached that says "Relp! It's Valentine's Day!" is only slightly better. Remind me not to let Daphne date you some day. C-

Another C-. I consider this the laziest kind of Valentine. How is fun-dip romantic or love-oriented? It's not even pink or heart shaped. Just sticking a heart on the package, with no message, doesn't make it suitable for Valentine's Day. The real Willy Wonka would not approve, Ethan H.

Best Friends? Best Friends??? That's the charming and creative message on this card? Way to put high effort in, Disney. At least Bella colored on the back. C

This card was pretty strange on the front. But the back provided some good old dyslexic entertainment (and teeny tiny M&M's)... For that, I give it a C+

B- This one isn't horrible. It has a message on it. And it has a pencil with it (you know, because nothing says I love you like a pencil). But what does "Light, Bright, & Sparkly" have to do with the holiday of love?

I actually love this one! Even though it's a Batman card (i.e. not very sweet) it DOES have a cute, funny, Valentinesy messsage on it. Way to go, Ethan P.! A-

Carmyn also gets an A. Homemade card, some craft glue involved, it has her name WRITTEN IN HER OWN WRITING--go Carmyn!--and it has a heart shaped sucker inside. Very well done.

These are Daphne's cards. Honestly I think they deserve an A. Not only is the card cute and glittery, and the envelope cute (it has an evenlope: that alone deserves an A. What happened to cards with envelopes in the last 20 years???), but it has chocolate on it, the king of all candy. And she helped make every single one, including writing the "D" on almost all of them and putting stickers on the rest.

I realize that I sound like a horrible old hag, railing on these sweet little three year olds' Valentine's Day gifts. But things have changed since I was a kid, and I'm not sure I like the direction they've taken. When I was a kid, we used to walk to school, up hill both ways, barefoot in the snow...but at least we had sweet, catchy valentines.


Kristina P. said...

I really wish I were still in school to receive Valentines!

jennie w. said...

Oh yes, I made the same foolish mistake when India had her first year of pre-school. I thought one of the more experience mothers would pull me aside and let me know. But no.

The card is superfluous. It's ALL about the candy. I saw your post about the card but you'd already taken her to school so I didn't mention it.

You found out soon enough.

At Carden there was a no-candy rule. And the card had to be homemade. It was really nice.

Sara said...

I guess I get a D this year, because instead of my elaborate, out of control cute homemade Valentines, I stuck candy in a clear envelope and wrote from: whatever child in black magic marker! But you you are so right, and next year I'm back on track.

Jen said...

Daphne's valentines ROCK!!! Seriously, you guys did a great job. :) I will say I agree with you that the valentines cards are way more commercialized then I remember them being, that being said, I will also say that I was one of those moms who bought Mason's valentines and then stuck a thing of candy on the back. (He did write the name's of the person it went to, and his own name) Maybe its because of the pregnancy, or that I'm not very crafty, either way this will probably be the majority of the cards his friends get year after year, after year.

veronica said...

I'm too am wondering what the heck happened to the envelopes?!
I think I get a D because we bought several commerical valentines this year like Transformers and High School Musical.
However, my husband would have received an F because he took my 6th grader to get Valentines and they came home with 36 12oz bottles of Gatorade and my son took a magic marker and wrote "From: Adam" on the lid. After school he came home and said his valentines were definitely the best!

Crystal said...

LOVE the cards you made you totally get an A+ when ave is in preschool I might need your help!

tiburon said...

I am with Jennie - I remember making a big deal about homemade Valentines the first year - and then I wised up. Sadly I am one of those mothers that lets the kids pick their character cards. They do address them though.

It is hard when you have 3 kids in school and have to do almost 70 Valentines!

Suzie said...

Spectacular post!
Got a front row seat for this Valentines Day at the local elementary. I am with you on all counts.
Even graded the one's I received. (although 1-10)

Daphne deserves a 10!

Melissa said...

I am SO thankful that I don't have to deal with Valentine's day at school any more.Ever.!!

Shawn said...

I am guilty of not having time to put into valentines. I asked my son if he wanted to make his---I couldn't help him, though, and he said, "no, couldn't I just buy some?"
But we did have very cutie ones with animals with big eyes on them and he wrote on each one and taped a package of hearts to each----he tried...

Anonymous said...

I never did homemade valentines but I do remember them being more about feelings than candy and the cartoon characters popular at the time. I guess you now know you don't need to waste your time doing these valentines since she's not being graded (and neither are you). More time for making baked goods for yourself!

MiaKatia said...

No doubt about it I would have gotten a D on your scale! Yours were adorable and deserve the A+. Next year I am at least getting ones with envelopes, because the suspense of opening the card to find out who it is from is the best part of V-day in my memory.

Chelsea said...

You did a great job! My mom never did handmade ones, we always got the commercial ones (Care Bears, She-Ra, My Little Pony.) But since there were 6 of us I can't really blame her for that!