Monday, February 14, 2011

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


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, Y'ALL!

 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...

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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?)
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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 etsy.com 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.

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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...

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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 :-)

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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!
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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.
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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.

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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.

IT WAS ALL A TRICK. 

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:

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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