Valentine’s Day Complaining; Valentine’s Day College Care Package

I was going to take a minute to complain about the airplane tickets that changed price by hundreds of dollars as I was trying to pay for them, but eh. I’m wearing a cozy cardigan, and everything worked out fine in the end, and I guess I’m not in the mood for complaining about it now.

I sent Rob a care package this morning, with a Valentine’s Day emphasis. You know what, actually I am in the mood for complaining, just not about plane tickets. I want to complain about Valentine’s Day. Paul and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, which makes me a little sad every year because I really like the holiday (pretty colors, flowers/lace/hearts, chocolate everywhere, a brief break from the long joyless winter), but we tried it for a number of years and it just doesn’t work out with anyone feeling happy about it. And I am so easy to buy for! Here is what I want: a pretty, heart-shaped box of nice chocolates. That’s it! That’s not so high-maintenance! Well. I guess also I want it purchased not at the last minute, and without a cranky, burdened attitude, and without a heavy “WHAT is it you want, again?” sigh, and perhaps that is too picky FOR SOME. And lest you are thinking, “Well GEEZ, Swistle, maybe he just wants to have his own romantic idea for a Valentine’s Day gift and you are STIFLING him by acting like you’re PLACING AN ORDER! SOME people don’t go in for TRITE CLICHÉD CONSUMERISM, you know!,” rest assured that the specific request is at his specific request: he absolutely did not want to think of his own idea. And he is a fine, fine man in many other ways, and if a once-a-year traditionally-romantic gift was so important to me I could have married my high-school boyfriend, but instead I wanted smart and funny (oh snap high school boyfriend) and this particular Smart/Funny came equipped with “responding amiably/amusingly to irritable comments rather than allowing them to start a fight” instead of “buying heart-shaped things,” and it’s still a trade I’m willing to make. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get to complain. And he can go ahead and complain to HIS friends about whatever it is he thinks it would be nice if I’d do.

Anyway, now I concentrate on the non-romantic parts of the holiday: valentines for the kids; buying/making heart-shaped foods; contributing heart-shaped paper plates to the elementary-school parties; appreciating the cute elementary-school classroom exchanges; buying my own pretty, heart-shaped box(es) of nice chocolates at 50% off on February 15th. This is our last year of having a kid in elementary school, so that’s a little sad.

Where was I? Oh, yes: care package. What the kids have wanted every single year is those giant 7-ounce Hershey Kisses. At our Target they are only sold in teacher-themed packaging, but the children say they do not care, so that’s what they get every year. (I have heard that some other stores have the giant Kisses without the teacher theme, and if the kids cared I would investigate that option.) I put one of those in Rob’s care package. Also, I have been buying the Valentine’s-Day-themed Hostess and Little Debbie snack cakes for the kids to have as February-leading-up-to-Valentine’s-Day treats, and I set aside one little cakey from each box to put in the care package. Also Valentine’s Day Tic-Tacs, Valentine’s Day Junior Mints, a Valentine’s Day Hershey bar, a tube of Valentine’s Day M&Ms, and Valentine’s Day Sweetarts. For non-Valentine’s-Day-related stuff, I put in a box of cereal bars, a box of granola bars, a pocket pack of tissues, two of his favorite pens (I bought a box of 12, and I parcel them out at the approximate rate I think he’ll lose them), a few ziploc baggies and clothespins (so handy!), a miniature bottle of Tabasco sauce, a package of beef jerky, a package of cough drops, a tin of Altoids.

14 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Complaining; Valentine’s Day College Care Package

  1. Ernie

    You are good -sending Valentine’s Day themed care packages to Rob. I have sent food to Laddie via Amazon to help extend his meal card spending, which he was thrilled about. I just mailed him something last week. It was a credit card to replace the one that is about to expire. He is only allowed to use it for emergencies and for buying books. Anyway, I requested that Curly (his youngest sister) write him a letter/draw a picture to include in the envelope. She did – and it was so cute. I guess I have refrained from sending other stuff in care packages because I would tend to send him cookies and he says he doesn’t eat that stuff. He tries to keep fit for water polo. I do think he would be thrilled if I sent him some, so now I am thinking I will put a care package together.

    Coach and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day either. I think we are both too practical. I guess it is a relief that we are both on the same page there.

    Reply
  2. ccr in MA

    I don’t have a significant other to give me (OR fail to give me) Valentine’s treats (though I can absolutely understand being annoyed in your situation), but I am also a big fan of half-off-on-the-15th candy. Specifically, I get the caramel-filled chocolate hearts from Lake Champlain Chocolates, and they are divine! Treating yourself is such a good plan.

    Reply
  3. WL

    We don’t really do Vday either. But this year I NAILED it. Saw that our favorite hockey team is playing the local hockey team and purchased tickets! Expensive good tickets for 3 days after Vday! BEST WIFE EVER. He’s been traveling out of the country for a week, called me last night to inform me once he gets home he’s out on another trip. As in won’t be home for the hockey game (that he doesn’t know about). The expensive really awesome nailed it Vday gift. Grumbling.

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  4. Rosemary

    Swistle, I know you have accepted it, but I wish I could communicate with Paul every Feb. to remind him to just order some chocolates online. Or I could tell Paul that I know he has a lot on his plate so could I please order you a box of chocolates, send it to your address and Paul could say here’s your chocolate heart, honey! Alas, this is not to be, but I would take 2 minutes to do it for you if I could!

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  5. Ali

    Your statement of what traits Paul came equipped with and the trade you’re willing to make helps me to see my relationship in a new way…kind of a lightbulb moment. Thank you!

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  6. Matti

    So, what we need is a company that will take a recurring order for holidays. You go in, pick what you want, add it to your account, and it will arrive by the date you specify. This may already be a thing? If not, it totally should be. A few days before the stuff ships they send you an email saying they’re going to ship the gift unless you change it. Like Amazon subscribe and save, but for presents.

    Reply
  7. Gigi

    Valentines isn’t a huge deal for us – but sometimes The Husband will bring home a little something – but sometimes he doesn’t. If I remember (which, now with this post, I hopefully will), I will get him and Man-Child a card and a little something.

    Reply
  8. suburbancorrespondent

    Here’s what I do – I wait until February 15, go to CVS, and buy all the cute candy I want at half price.

    Also, we make Rice Krispie treats for Valentine’s Day, with some of those red cinnamon hearts pressed into them. I made a double batch last year, so I could send some to the 3 grown and flown kids, but then I ate all the extra instead.

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  9. Jessemy

    In response to this post, I asked my husband to buy me a Vosges truffle box. Ordered! And he seemed very happy to oblige a specific request ;)

    Reply
  10. Liz Miller

    I love this post and I also love that it had a blast from the past link to your post about the Baker’s Chocolate atrocity, which I AM STILL ANGRY ABOUT FIVE YEARS LATER.

    I make hand-rolled chocolate every year for Christmas and it used to be one box of Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate to one can of Sweetened Condensed Milk. And now it’s two to one and I have to remember to get two boxes and one can per batch EVERY SINGLE TIME. AND I NEVER REMEMBER and have to go BACK to the store to get more chocolate. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
    Grrrrr.

    Reply
  11. Laura Sampson

    I just want to say that I TOO married a smart funny nerd man and he has a hard time with valentine’s day as well–he wants to buy high end fancy chocolates that come 4 to a box and I finally said look I’m a heart shaped box of chocolates kind of girl. Nothing fancy. Please and thank you. He still waits until the 14th but at least I’m not eating curry or lavender truffles any more

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  12. Slim

    “This is our last year of having a kid in elementary school, so that’s a little sad.”

    Wait, waaaaa?

    As hard as it is for my to wrap my head around my own kids growing up, I am even more unsettled by other people’s kids doing same.

    Reply

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