Sunday, February 13, 2011

Surviving Valentines' Day

Found out that the Upper Macungie editor on Patch forwarded this article.  It's now running in 5 different cities, with the possibility of a few more.  Yay, me!  (I'm old - I get excited easily)  You can read it online at my homepage on the Hellertown Patch, Nazareth Patch, Upper Macungie, and the Hatboro Patch. I'm pretty sure Lower Macungie will be running it as well - woo hoo!  (Again, sorry, I'm easily amused).  

Anyway, here's my latest installment of silliness.  Up next, teens & the toilet paper dispenser; it has them baffled.

Surviving Valentine's Day

Remember when Valentine's Day was romantic? There were candlelit dinners, the occasional roses, a few stuffed animals and several sparkly baubles in those good old days. Now, you're lucky if you get a burrito from the drive through at the Taco Bell. What happened?

One word – kids.

Once you have kids, going on a date is a huge deal, and you're usually too tired to make the effort. After you've made enough pink cupcakes to circle the globe and purchased boxes of Spiderman cards that say things like "swinging your way", getting dressed and going out is too tiring. Picking up the phone and ordering take out in your sweat pants and fluffy slippers is a little Utopia here on Earth.

Putting on a little black dress requires energy that we just don't have anymore. And small evening bags make us laugh really hard; we now carry suitcase sized purses stuffed to the brim with first aid supplies and enough food to feed a small army.

But men, just because you've been granted a reprieve from the fancy dinner doesn't mean women don't want gifts; the sparklier, the better. We don't let geography get in the way.

You see, for most moms, Valentine's Day has been elevated to a High Holy Day. Christmas is for the children and anniversaries are about the two of you. By now, what used to be a highly anticipated gift getting day, birthdays, are dreaded. We don't want to be reminded of our age. Therefore, by default, Valentine's is "The Day". However, we don't make it easy on you guys.

If you bought flowers, but no candy, you think we're fat. If you bought a silver necklace, why wasn't it gold? We keep forgetting that unlike us, you guys are pretty simple. You don't have ulterior motives, and sometimes a gift is a gift. Well, except when you buy us lingerie – then yeah, you've got ulterior motives.

There are things you should avoid, though. For example, think before you make a public declaration of love. If you take her to a hockey game and have "Marry me, Ashley" flashed on the jumbo screen, there's a pretty good chance that there is more than one Ashley there. Mass hysteria will ensue.

Never bestow upon us anything practical on this High Holy Day. Women have been known to launch vacuum cleaners with the precision of a stinger missile. That Diaper Genie that she's been ogling? Buy it as a Valentine gift, and you'll be wearing it with the sausage-like roll of dirty diapers dangling from your ears.

Handy tip, never give her a present that came from the Wal-Mart. Cutting the tags off and putting it in a Macy's box isn't clever, it's just plain dangerous. We can spot a Wal-Mart gift a mile away, and you'll be in the dog house for days.

Another tip; you may want to avoid is telling her that Valentine's Day is also for men. That's kind of like telling the Bride that it's the Groom's day, too. First she'll laugh; then she'll turn on you. Run. Run very, very fast.

The biggest, most unforgiveable sin, however, is forgetting The Day. The only acceptable excuse for missing it is death and/or imprisonment. You may also want to consider entering the Witness Protection Program. You'll probably spend more money making it up than you would had you just ordered flowers. Sandy beaches and expensive jewelry might be the only way to atone for your sin.

In all seriousness, Valentine's Day isn't about gifts. It's about the time and the thought and remembering that sometimes, two hearts need to take a moment for romance.

Whether you've spent the day explaining that putting on a cape doesn't mean you can fly, digging Lego's out of your feet, pointing out that despite the handy size, the washing machine isn't the best place to bathe the dog, or dealing with towering teens with attitude, it's all about the gesture.

Romance can be found every day in the little things. Take the time to look at your shared history through photographs, and you'll remember how you began your love story. Life goes by so fast and stopping for a minute to let the person you love most in the world know that you appreciate them is itself a precious gift.

Keeping connected, taking care of each other's needs, and saying I love you often are all woven into the fabric that makes up our lives. Those are the things we'll remember long after washing machines are once again being used solely to clean clothes, Lego's have been packed up and the teens are grown.

Of course, there's still nothing wrong with a sparkly, sparkly bauble. Or perhaps you can splurge for the Burrito "Grande".

Happy Valentine's Day!

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