Why do we humans have to make love so complicated? I’ve spent the last week listening to radio ads appealing to desperate men without a clue what to get for their mate: bears? chocolate? jewelry? pajamas? flowers? massages? Screw this one up and you could be paying for weeks, the ads direly imply.
Kids don’t have it much easier. When I was in elementary school, I would stress for days over which Valentine to give to which kid. Tommy’s gross, so I can’t give him the “Be Mine” ones. He gets the “Valentine, You’re Neat.” That sort of thing.
I tried sending my daughter to school with a stack of cards last year. She returned with 15 pounds of candy, individually wrapped in paper mache boxes with hand-formed truffles or some nonsense. And because she has a memory like an elephant, she has been warning me since mid-January that we need to step it up a notch this year.
It doesn’t help that we ended up in the Overachieving PTA Mom Room this year, where I imagine they have been planning for this day since the February Martha Stewart Living hit the stands. Resisting the urge to send my daughter in with festive heartworm prevention brochures (get it? Since they’re HEARTS?) I agreed to undertake the herculean task of wrapping miniature matchboxes in scrapbook paper. Like this, except not quite so fancy since I have a degree in biology and my patience for paper crafts is somewhat thin.
I let my 4 year old help with the task of removing the matches and replacing the contents of the box with conversation hearts. He did this with only about 90% accuracy, which I didn’t realize until placing the boxes on the cards and hearing the rattle of an indignant call from the principal and permanent ostracization as the weirdo animal freak pyro who sent the 6 year olds home with matches on Valentine’s Day. (The card I was about to attach the box of matches to was, of course, for the daughter of the PTA Vice-President.)
Just one of the many reasons dogs are so much easier than people. Brody doesn’t care if he gets special treats (which he will) or just a handful of kibble. He loves it, and me, all the same. A scritch or two, an extra swipe of the brush, and he is mine forever.
He even likes my bad poetry:
Roses are red,
I sometimes eat poo,
My Valentine’s gift
Is that I won’t kiss you.
-(Obviously written from Brody’s perspective.)