Maybe it's because I grew up in an era where you didn't have to give a valentine to every kid in your class, so I always came up short – though I always gave one to everybody. Or it could be that I was grounded the first Valentine's Day I actually had a boyfriend. Most likely, though, it's because of the restaurant industry. I waited tables for a long time and Valentine's Day was the worst. You'd think it would bring out the best in people but usually couples are so obsessed with making sure everything is perfect that they treat the server like shit because she brought out their appetizers three minutes before their meal. It's not like I worked in upscale dining establishments; this was at an Applebee's.
Dr. T knows about my aversion to Valentine's Day but he also knows how much I like presents. And our first Valentine dinner together was amazing. We celebrated the night after February 14th, because I had to work the worst shift of my life. We went to a fabulous restaurant in Pittsburgh that wasn't crowded at all. Flowers were half the price the were the day before. And he got me a super-cute dress from JCrew. In short, it was perfect.
One year later, we were living in a crappy apartment in Albuquerque. We had pizza and my gift was a mattress cover. They can't all be gems.
But over the years, we've had nice evenings usually at home. Since we had L.E., we'll do an early evening dinner somewhere family-friendly. I usually print Todd an I Choo Choo Choose You card from The Simpsons. And he'll get me a Costco bouquet the weekend before.
It's simple. I like simple.
But then the internet gave us Pinterest.
I started to feel inadequate because of my loathing of crafts. If L.E. didn't have adorable DIY pirate valentines, she would be the laughingstock of her preschool.
But then I snapped out of it.
I decided to leave the Valentine's Day crafting to my cohorts who really do make cute things.
I'm a realist. Yes, I may have some spare time right now but I really don't want to spend it elbow-deep in popsicle sticks and glitter glue.
So I'm going to share with you....
Hip-Baby Mama's Surefire Valentine's Day Super Happy Fun Time
You need valentines; you're not so good with the scissors and glue.
That's why we have retail.
I got these beauties at Whole Foods. They were conveniently located by the checkout stands.
They're super-cute and two-sided.
|Yep, they really do smell like bananas|
I know what you're thinking: "But Hip-Baby Mama, those are great and all but WHAT will Aiden-Caden-Fayden-Grayden use to HOLD all of his/her/gender-discovering valentines?"
I got you covered, Kemosabe. Behold, I present to you the joys of the Target dollar bin:
|Is that felt? Does it want to be?|
Yep, it's a felt bag that you did NOT have to make yourself! I know, I'm a genius.
Of course, you could always do what my mom did and that is cover a shoebox in wrapping paper with a slit cut out for the envelopes. But that would require wrapping skills and a shoebox. The last pair of shoes I got were boots and L.E. would look just a little bit egotistical if she showed up with a boot box to fill with her valentines from 20 other kids.
You could also use a bucket, a coffee can or an old purse. With a red Sharpie, anything is possible.
Which brings me to the last quandary to solve for the Hip-Baby Mama's Surefire Valentine's Day Super Happy Fun Time: Finding out the kids' names without asking the teacher so you look like you know what's going on. I snapped a photo of the sign-in sheet with my iPhone. Again, GENIUS.
Lest you think I deserve a spot in the Mensa Hall of Fame, let me remind you that I always like to take the easy way and I'm happy to share that with you for Valentine's Day.
Lastly, if you're just not into it as I usually am, this card will do in a pinch.