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.