The strangeness of kinders


Last weekend was a special weekend for me, as it quite often is. This has nothing to do with the fact that Sunday was February 14th however. Mr Boxer Shorts and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.

We don’t hate it. We just don’t do it.

I am quite happy for the rest of the world to get all doughy eyed at each other, proclaim undying love and spend huge amounts of money on things that were hastily repackaged in red or pink behind the counter and display massive cards that play tinny versions of “Where do I begin”.

I’m not your bah humbugger type of person – I don’t rain on other people’s parade just because I choose not to march in it.

I do think that it’s horrendously commercial and a shallow expression of love, but I will refrain from telling you that.

But as far as I understand it, Valentine’s Day is about true love. It’s for lovers. Or secret admirers. Or people whose hearts touch in a spiritual way. I remember getting a valentine from my dad when I was very young – for his special girl. I can remember the school’s banning the exchange of Valentine’s within school time, since not everyone got one. And then the even stranger moments once I got into high school and started to explore “relationships” in that uselessly terrifying way that adolescents do! (I went to an all girls school, but that doesn’t mean that my Valentine’s cards were from girls!)

What Valentine’s Day isn’t for – as far as I understand it – is a class full of toddlers.

So imagine my confusion and bemusement as I read posts on twitter about mothers just off to their “preschooler’s valentine’s party”. What’s that all about? There was dressing up and decorations and cards.

Or another blog post (a very touching one albeit) about getting valentines’s cards from the whole class, since the children’s mothers would buy a job lot and address them all accordingly.

That was the one that had me raising my eyebrows the most. If the point of making someone your “Valentine” is to declare your love to them, how is is appropriate for a child to send a valentine’s card to every single person in their class?

It reminds me of the movie “The Incredibles”, when the villain is hell bent on making everybody special. Because when everyone is special, then no-one will be.

Surely the idea of giving everyone in your class a valentine’s card is perfectly aligned with that sentiment. I think it’s nicer to be special in a unique way.

I did a bit more research on Valentine’s Day and discovered that in the United States, it’s actually a holiday. That made the whole song and dance that surrounds it somewhat more understandable. I’d probably be so happy for a day off I’d be willing to send some cards out for my troubles!

But anyway, the Valentine’s business was probably booming over here in Britain on Sunday 14th February, just not quite at the fever-pitch all-inclusive modus operandus that the Yankees do it. I wouldn’t know. I spent it shopping in Bluewater. And I had a hangover.

I had a hangover because on Saturday 13th February I had a birthday party since I turned 40 – as I may have mentioned earlier. So that’s why last weekend was a special weekend. And the party was great fun – tucked away in the corner of our local bar – with great friends, wine and food. And I even got some more presents – which was totally unexpected and at the same time a lovely surprise.

But I need to backtrack and correct a wrongness that I have inflicted on Mr Boxer Shorts.

I wanted an apron for my birthday. I saw the one I wanted in the kitchen shop in our high street. I feared that instead of an apron I would get yet more jewellery. What can I say? I’ve just cooked up a batch of Nigella’s chowder with asian flavours wearing my lovely… old white apron. Yep, no apron appeared.

But guess what – no bling turned up either. 

You see, I am typing this blog post on my kitchen bench, with my new Macbook Pro. It would appear that Mr Boxer Shorts was being particularly attentive to my random ramblings, and took note of my casual search for a new laptop. He noticed my loving glances at the MacBook Air. He actually listened when I speculated at how the Air wasn’t featured enough to  do all that I needed, but that Pro was.

The girls were so excited that they had difficulty keeping up the presence as I opened my presents. The first was a running top in blue. It was nice, but I’d seen some great pink and red ones that I’d liked in Sweaty Betty and I was under the impression that we were going to shopping for them so that I could try them on and get one that I liked. This one was a Nike one, and very plain.

The next present was a laptop sleeve – to protect the laptop I was planning to buy. It was a gorgeous purple colour.

Then the girls started making funny faces, one finger on a chin – saying “Oh, is there another present?” in theatrical voices. They are terrible actors! But I didn’t catch on. I presumed that they’d wrapped something funny from the cat – because I always do a birthday present for them from him.

But up came a huge wrapped present. No – almost wrapped. Both ends had sprung open, and the Mac apple icon was visible as the present was lifted up. Mr Boxer Shorts is a terrible present wrapper! I knew instantly.

Terrible wrapper he might be, but the surprise was fantastic! And to think, I’d had him marked down for another round of bling.

So here I am – typing a blog post in the social, but frantic atmosphere of my front room (I moved, half way though typing!) The girls, who are on half term holiday, are playing the Wii before bedtime.  Jeez, actually it’s kinda mad down here! But I now have choice, which is the main thing!

So here’s to my Valentine – the man who keeps my heart and makes me smile. Not just one day a year, but every day.

Categories: crazy people