Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day: The Good, The Bad and the Whuck


 We asked for your best and worst VD stories [Editor's Note: Kate loves to write that. -Lydia] about why you love -- or hate -- this day. We were happy to find out that you guys are still pretty romantic about Valentine's Day. Even Lydia - who decided to contribute her own story. [Editor's Note: She's a lame-o.  - Kate]

Kate actually spent all day yesterday making cards with all the IHPs...and ate about 68 pounds of Sweet Tarts, which contributed to both her thoughts that Valentine's Day maybe sorta is kinda fun. And that no one should ever eat that much candy and then try to tap dance.

Oh, and we added in a little artwork about what we should be getting for VD, what we definitely don't want...and who's been a bad boy this year...


My Hubby is a dear sweet man who has been known to actually make me cards or write me poems for Valentine’s Day (although that mostly happened B.C.—before children, when we had nothing else to occupy our minds but how much we loved each other and would always be this romantic). One year, he was picking me up from work on Valentine’s Day and he decided to stop and pick me some flowers. He pulled over on the side of the highway and picked a bunch of wildflowers for me. It was a spur of the moment thing so he didn’t have a vase but the plastic 7-11 cup he had kicking around the floorboards of his car worked just fine. When I opened the car door and saw my gift, I melted. How sweet! I displayed that little makeshift vase on my dresser where I could see it all the time, and it was beautiful—it really was. Until a few days later when I’m getting dressed and I see a bunch of tiny things moving across the clothes in my closet. It turned out they were baby spiders. Hundreds of them. There was a trail of the nasty little buggers that went all the way back to—you guessed it—my wildflowers. It seems that Hubby was lucky enough to pick flowers that had an egg sac on them. Happy Valentine’s Day, honey! (Have I mentioned I’m terrified of spiders?)
Well, I’m not one for cheesy romance so Valentine’s Day isn’t a big deal to me really. But when I inherited two kids, it became fun to make heart-shaped food with them. And now I have my very own kid and it’s fun to buy his Valentines to take to the babysitter’s for the party there. And this year I’m even more dorkily and they’re Elmo and one of a kind and personalized. HOWEVER – and I’m not telling this story for sympathy or anything, I’m just telling it to illustrate how Valentine’s Day can turn into a suckfest in an instant – this year, my baby daddy and I are on the road to Splitsville. But we’re still managing and we’re able to get along but it’s just so very awkward with all these stupid Valentine’s Day commercials on TV about marriage proposals (he broke off our engagement twice – hey dude, if you don’t want to marry me, stop asking!) and how Valentine’s Day is about us and blah blah blah. So, I think ‘sucks monkey balls’ is a bit of a harsher statement than I’d like to make, but the meter is definitely beginning to lean that way.


My husband is from Poland and doesn't have a single Americanized Romantic Bone in his body (read: he hasn't bought into any of the Hallmark nonsense).  However, my best sucky Valentine's Day came in 1988.  I was 16 (a VERY important age in the world of romance) and the Olympics were in full swing.  I had SLAVED over a romantic meal (it was probably mac and cheese now that I think of it), dressed in my finest Molly Ringwaldesque attire (I'm pretty sure fingerless lace gloves were a part of this ensemble).  My boyfriend came over and all he did was park his sorry butt on my parent's couch, watch about 20 seconds of the Olympics and then said he had to go...oh yeah, you had to go Buddy...Didn't even mention the dinner, the outfit, the card I got for him...nuthin.  Punk.  I dumped him that evening.  I think he sells insurance in South Carolina now...


So, here's the thing. I waited 32 years. THIRTY TWO YEARS until finding my Mr. Right. And I spent all those years listening to women complain about their crap gifts. And I'm thinking that Russell Stover means you have someone to Hold You and night and who holds your hand and walks through the CRAP of Life with you! You are SO LUCKY! And so, now that i have Papa Bear, I can't WAIT for V-day. But not because I'm thinking about myself, but because he, like the Cap'n, balks at spending unnecessary monies. Esp on himself. And Valentines is one of four days a year that I can buy him something and fawn over him a little. Sure, we usually have a 25 dollar cap on V-day(a compromise), because he sees the contrived part of it, but he Always loves what I get him and enjoys the day. It's the one day a year I focus on he and I, not he and I and Baby Bear. I put Baby Bear to bed and just focus on US. And tell him HOW HAPPY I AM, how LUCKY I feel that he is there to hold me at night. That he made me a MOMMY! How can I ever thank him enough? And someday, when Baby Bear leaves the cave and my heart breaks into 4 Billion pieces, he'll be the one with a champagne slushie drink he made up for me, and the superglue to put my heart back together. I Love that man. I Love Valentines. And I Love Hallmark for creating it :-)


On our first Valentine’s Day together my husband gave me the ultimate in romantic gifts.  A Swiss Army Knife.  Yes, you read that right.  It was just a few weeks before our wedding and I was feeling all loving and romantic and he presented me with gear.  This was just foreshadowing of his future gifting habits.  In the last (almost) 11 years I have also gotten a first aid kit for my car, a huge purple flashlight, pepper spray, a backpack chair and a fire pit among countless other practical goodies.  Our anniversary is coming up.  I’m hoping for maybe a tool belt or some lock de-icer!

My husband and I have an impressive string of bad Valentine’s days, but our first as a married couple was the worst. The Austin Marathon, which I was running, was the day after Valentine’s day. All I wanted to do was eat a ton of pasta and go to a movie with my husband. But then my husband’s  aunt and her partner came to town and they wanted to see our new house. So the plan was for his whole family – mom, dad, younger brother, aunt, aunt’s partner, great-grandmother, and grandfather – to come to our 800 square foot house for lunch, which my mother-in-law said she’d bring. But then his aunt and her partner decided they had other things they wanted to do for lunch, and the plans got pushed back to dinner. I smiled through gritted teeth and told my husband it was fine as long as we still got to go to a movie.
The whole family arrived an hour later than scheduled, and then dinner took forever to reheat. By the time everyone had eaten, it was almost 8:00. His aunt and her partner left to take the old folks home, but his mom, dad and brother just hung out, watching TV. I shot my husband death glares until he caught on and told them that we were leaving, they were welcome to hang out and do dishes but please lock the door when they left.
We headed out and realized that we had more than an hour wait for the next movie time, and I didn’t want to stay up that late given that I had to be up at the crack of dawn to run. So we stopped by the video store and picked up a movie. As we were driving home, my husband, half jokingly, asked what the odds were that everyone was still at our house. Yep, they were.
His brother, who was a clueless college student, settled in to watch the movie with us. My husband pretty much grabbed him by the back of his shirt and propelled his brother out of the house. He then turned to his parents and told them to never mind about the dishes and to just leave already.
We still laugh about the night, but we’ve also pretty much given up on celebrating the day. 
Just a thought... How much do the things we really want cost?

A little appreciation
goes a long way.
[Editor's Note: This reader letter is about TODAY'S Valentine's Day...she's totally like omniscient or something. Can we please have the lottery numbers for next week?  -Kate] Yes, I know it hasn't happened yet, but it will. I was making heroin chicken wings for the Stupid Bowl on Sunday.  I went into our 3rd bedroom aka the clusterf**k-storage-everything-that-doesn't-have-a-place-lives-here-room to get one of those big disposable aluminum pans to put the 8 pounds of chicken wings into.  I pulled the package of pans down and it was really heavy.  Inside of the pans I found a Valentines card and a box of chocolates.  I thought hubby was trying to be sneaky and nice so I got the pan I needed and put the stuff back without saying a word to him.  A day or two went by and I made a slip up about finding the candy and card in the pans.  He looks at me like I have 3 heads.  Then asks me what I'm talking about.  So I showed him.

We've never tried this stuff...
But we'd like to.
Apparently, he bought the candy and card last year and forgot to give them to me.  Looks like I'm getting year old candy for V-day.  And silly me, I bought him a nice Under Armour sweatshirt that he's been coveting since before Christmas.

My husband and I met at a "Desperate and Dateless" ball for Valentine's Day 9 years ago. The idea was to send in an application and the "computer" picked your match! HA! I was matched with a total d-head from my work whom I loathed, and my female friend was matched to my (now) husband (they.did.not.get.along!) After dating for 4 years, we got married, and have now had 2 beautiful children.

Valentines Day holds a special place in my heart...and, we can tell everyone we were both Desperate and Dateless when we met.


Lydia here. I wasn't expecting anything for VD. But when the Cap'n said he had to take the two big kids to the store on Saturday, I got suspicious.  So I cornered my 7 year old and asked what they were doing.  "Are you getting anything for me?" I implored. 

She shook her head casually and said "No. Daddy says he's been feeling gassy so we need to get some special food so he won't be so gassy."

Ahhh... Well. That's romantic.

Then I was informed that we were celebrating VD a day early- as a day early was Sunday and we'd be all together. CRAP. I was informed of this on Saturday night at 9pm and I had nothing for my husband.  But I figured whatever - he didn't get me anything either and besides, he's feeling gassy.


They got me an iPad. Yes, that's right I said a MOTHERCRUNKING iPad.  I love you Cap'n.  And I love that you don't even care that because you tricked me, I had nothing for you.  Because according to you, this holiday is all about being sweet to me.  WOO HOO!!  Thank you AGAIN AND AGAIN!

And because Kate will never say it but I will:


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. This post is AWESOME! I love you guys!!! I'm going to have the WORST Vday ever seeing as we got Againistan-ed today. *sigh* There's always next year.

  2. I want you guys to know that you are evil snitches. When I first found your site, I would only be able to waste time but "open in new tab" the links you would give to your old posts. They were all GREAT! And time consuming. And it was sad, but relieving when I found a post with not other links, because I don't think Chrome can hold 5,283 windows. And I have a house to clean. Meals to cook!

    Then you came up with "You might also like..." I'm new enough that usually 3/5 I have not read. And they are after Every. Post.


  3. The hubby and I went out for dinner tonight (Sunday) and left the younger girls home with our oldest daughter (Can I tell you how much having a 13 year old ROCKS???) She made them pizza for dinner and I got to eat a real, honest to goodness, yummy, wonderful meal (that was still hot when I bit into it!!!) THAT I DIDN'T HAVE TO COOK!!! Woo-murtherfurking-hoo!

    We got home and the youngest darling brought me a big box (totally from the Coach store) with a GORGEOUS Celery colored satchel purse in it. It is so pretty and lovely.

    Happy Valentine's Day girls!

  4. LOVE the post!!

    My Christmas-Birthday(yesterday)-V-day present comes in 10 days when I get on a plane to go see my husband of 18 years, who I haven't seen since October. This stuff of being separated by thousands of miles and 8 hours of time SUCKS, especially on days like today when all you see and hear is couples' stuff.

  5. Mama Bear's post totally made me teary. My BFF from high school (we graduated in 1989, ya'll) has her first real V-tines Date EVER this year, and all she wants to be is a married mom. She had dated a long string of losers that she tried to change but luckily figured out that was not going to happen before the marriage and kids. She has spent the last two years working on HER, and now she knows better. This new guy better be good enough for her, I tell you what! Happy VD to all of you! (BTW, my worst VD was the time when my in-laws came to town to stay with me and the baby while my husband was out of town on business. IN CANCUN.)

  6. Ahhh yes, Valentine's Day....I'll never forget the year of our worst VD. My MIL had been sick (colon cancer) and passed away on Feb. 10. I left work that day (a Monday) and we made her arrangements and spent the next 3 days trying to get things in order. I went back to work on the 14th only to be told that I was being laid off. Ba$tard$. Did I mention my hubby and I worked at the same place? And my dad worked there too? They were nice enough to give me the week's pay - I said suck it....I was salary anyway and they owed me that money for coming in.

  7. So you can look at this as sweet and romantic...or really, really cheap but this is our Valentines Day tradition....This will be our 18th Valentine's Day where we go to the card store, each search for the perfect card, and exchange them right there. After a kiss, we put the cards back on the shelf and leave, saving ten bucks.
    We think Hallmark invented VDay just to rake in millions of we just don't partake. We buy cards for each other throughout the year...and I do get flowers at work on just because days too....

  8. Great Post!

    I really don't have much on the way of Valentine's Day since I gave up caring about it long ago. Mostly because my Hubb's missing the romantic gene. I do have some awsome birthday stories like being made to go to WWE's Smackdown on my b-day while 5 months prego and can't stand wrestling. Him supposedly taking me to lunch but ended up just driving around until we got into a fight.

    My favorite thought was my last b-day when he forgot... yes forgot the woman who bared his children's b-day. He came home from work and asked what was for dinner. I talk to him on IM all day and didn't say it then and aparently he didn't go on FB or he would have been reminded and seem the 90 other Happy Birthday's from friends. He only remembered while I was putting the kids to bed an my Sis called to say Happy Birthday to me. Which prompted his omg i'm an idiot face and tried to get the kids to say HB to me but it was to late. They were tired and cranky and didn't believe him. According to my kids I didn't have a birthday last year. In my 9 years of marrage 10 years with him he has never gotten me a cake ever. Seems silly but I make a cake for his as well as the kids and most other b-day's I come across. Just once I would love to see hm and the kids making me a cake.

    He did sort of make up for it by getting me an ipod for christmas and a Nintendo dsi xl for Valentines but I still remember.

  9. I just wanted to let y'all know that ChocoVine is AWESOME! It's chocolatey goodness with a kick - definitely worth the buy!

  10. Great post, as usual Girls. I don't care that much for VD as it is a fake holiday. Have been thinking all morning how I want to really celebrate St. Paddy's Day this yearf as DH and I will celebrate 10 years of couple-dom.

  11. Great post! Just have to chime in with my worst VD present. It was our first year of marriage (over 16 years ago!)and on Feb 13th I can home to some ugly, wilting grocery store flowers and my husband saying, "Happy Valentine's Day!" Um, VD is tomorrow ... and where did you get those flowers, the gas station? The worst part was, he figured he was done with VD and I got NOTHING the next day! I must say, he's learned his lesson and I get MUCH better flowers now. :)

  12. get the chocolate wine. put ice in a glass. pour said wine into said glass. enjoy! repeat.

  13. Ah, Valentine's Day. The Good, the Bad, the $5.00 Hallmark Cards! I love MaryT's post above, by the way! Also, wanted to send out a warning, just say no to the "Choco-vine" posted above. NASTY!!! Just get a nice bottle (or T-box, if they have them?) of a cabernet blend, a lovely box of simple dark chocolates, and enjoy the combination. For the two minutes that I hope you have to yourself today :-). Oh, and finally, I am jealous that Lydia got BOTH an i-pad, AND a gas free husband! That is one lucky lady! :-)

  14. I'm pretty sure my husband's still not talking to me since I told him - Surprise! you knocked me up! - (On Thursday. its' been a long weekend) so I'm sure this year's VD will suck monkey balls. I'm going to go to target, buy the kid and me strawberries and try not to hurl at work.
    ps - the nonspam code for this post? "faterin" which I'm sure is just forewarning me of what's going to happen to me. Lovely.

  15. Get yourself some ChocoVine STAT. Put it in the freezer. Heaven in a glass, I promise!

  16. For our first Valentines Day as old married people I circled the pair of earrings that I wanted in the Ross Simon catalog and left it on the bathroom counter. The consensus amongst his friends is that I was "the best wife ever" for taking the guess-work out of shopping for VD. Nowadays, 10 years and two kids later, we exchange cards. But I know that when he sees the first Cadbury Egg of the season he will bring it home to me, and that's what love is all about.

  17. AAAHHHHHH!!! You included Chocovine! Seriously, you're welcome. And from the few commenters before me, it sounds like it may not be so vomit-inducing. Dang it! Now I'm-a hafta find me some.
    Happy VD ladies. If there is any disappointment, just use it as a day to love yourself. Okay, that sounds dirty. I'll just go now.

  18. I love reading all of these stories! And boy can I contribute! My husband and I decided that we would celebrate VD yesterday. We also agreed that we would go out for lunch, to a restaurant with a nice patio (we live in AZ, it was 80 degrees), to avoid all of the VD crowds and price-fix menus (or however the hell it's spelled). We promised not to get eachother gifts, because we have a baby on the way and have so much to buy for the little one... So yesterday goes like this:

    He gets up and makes me blueberry pancakes (very sweet). As we are eating, we get into an argument about how to paint the stripes in the baby's nursery (which leaves me crying, because I'm a pregnant, hormonal mess). We make up (get your mind out of the gutter).

    We leave for lunch. We decide to go to this place I've heard about, but never been. Supposed to be romantic, picnic style lunch, etc. As we pull in, my husband is like "THIS is where we are going???" And "I'll eat here but I do not want to picnic. I want to sit at a table." As we walk in, I realize it isn't nearly as cute as I expected, and so now I'm disappointed. I start to cry, because THIS isn't the lunch/VD experience I wanted (and because I'm pregnant). So we leave, and I'm driving to a restaurant that I KNOW has a nice patio, and the whole time my husband is saying "we should have gone here all along, and you had all week to make up your mind, blah blah blah". Seriously, shut up at this point. We get there, have a nice lunch, and all is forgotten.

    On our way home, my husband says he needs to stop by Walgreens, and that I can't come in. Obviously he has not purchased my card yet and this was his last opportunity. I let it go, and don't say anything... But then he comes back to the car a few minutes later (with nothing in hand) and says "I'll have to go to the grocery store later because the card I picked out was $7 and I wasn't about to spend $7 on a card." UGH.

    So Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!!

  19. Wow congrats on the iPad!

  20. Stay away from the's NASTY!!!!

    As for Valentine's Day, it was awesome...did I get flowers? Nope. Did I get chocolate? Nope. Did I get a card? Nope.
    Instead, my husband cooked me my favorite dinner: Steak & Lobster, Baby Red Potatoes with Portabella mushrooms & green beans, crescent rolls, and a glass of wine.
    And I didn't have to lift a finger! Woohooo!




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