Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Like Valentine's Day More Now That I'm Married And Have Kids.

The high for today in Karachi, Pakistan is 24ºC. I know this because Zarf and Klaxon (these are aliases, by the way) sent Valentines cards to a family living there and we researched the country beforehand (currency: the rupee, population: 177 million). I took an inordinate amount of joy posting that envelope, asking the postal employee, "How much will it cost TO SEND THIS LETTER TO PAKISTAN?" in a too-loud voice.  "I am worldly and sophisticated because I'm sending a missive to PAKISTAN, where it is thirty four degrees warmer." being the unspoken message. I assume everyone at the post office yesterday at 10 AM was duly impressed.

We also sent cards to various American states, about which the boys had many questions. On an unlabelled map, I can locate only 16% of the states: Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, California, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Idaho. In short: I know some western states close to Canada, and some with coastlines.  Thank you unnamed Canadian bureaucrats/forefathers from the days of yore for only subdividing my nation into 13 provinces or territories -- you've made my life easier. We sent the cards as part of this year's Homeschool Valentine Exchange (organized by everyone's favourite bobcat-in-the-sack, Eryn from the Heart to Hearth blog). I'm glad that my sons are learning about geography ("This girl lives in Washington DC, with Nico DiAngelo and Barack Obama" I told the boys) and participating in an activity like their school-attending peers.

 In years past the boys have enthusiastically chosen to make cards only to lose their shit interest 10 minutes into the project. This year I got smart and just used commercially-produced cards. It'd been a while since I'd bought cards, and they've improved since my youth. Today's crop of Valentines are delightfully unromantic. I prefer puns based on superhero catch phrases than  a card with a worm crawling out of an apple saying "You are the APPLE of my eye, Valentine." Or a cartoon pony announcing "Hay there! Quit HORSIN' around and be my Valentine." Or a monkey swinging on a vine declaring "Hang it all. You're MONKEYING with my heart."  I remember very clearly trying to sort out which cards to give which classmate. You didn't want to give the boys anything too lovey-dovey lest it be misinterpreted. Also you wanted to make sure the best, funniest, brightest cards went to the class' alpha-female. Heaven help you, if the alpha-female decided you'd given her a second rate card. You'd spend the rest of the week hiding out in the tire fort at recess hoping she didn't turn her claws and tongue on you.

Now I just have to come up with a suitable Trekkie-inspired St Valentine's Day card for Mr Wrath.

• • • • •

Which do you prefer: Valentine's Day, St. Valentine's Day or Valentines Day?

I don't know which is the accepted variant.

• • • • •

One final fun fact about Pakistan: their national animal is the Markhor.

I think the national animal of a nation says a lot about the people of that country. The Markhor is a mountain goat that eats poison snakes. Canada's national animal is the beaver. That our nation is symbolized by a large, nocturnal rodent makes me feel inadequate.


  1. I like St. Valentine's Day. I'm a traditionalist.

    I still remember carefully selecting a lovey-dovey Cookie Monster valentine to give to The Boy I Had Feelings For in the second grade. When he opened it (because they used to come with envelopes, remember that?) he sneered in disgust and chucked it on the floor. Right next to my shattered heart. Huh. I should see if I can find him on Facebook. I hope he's fat and bald now.

  2. You are being a meanie. Those cards were awesome. I choo-choo-choose you? Let's bee Valentines? Freaking genius. Also, I thought I was everyone's favourite bobcat in the sack. This whole damn post makes me weepy with rage.

  3. @Hodge -- I bet he was overwhelmed by your awesomeness & that's why he reacted so poorly. He refers to you as "The Girl Who Got Away," I just know it.

    @Nicole -- you are a bobcat on the yoga mat. Or so I've heard. I do enjoy those cheesy/goofy pun cards but think they're better for grownups in romantic relationships. But for kids? Not so much.

  4. "By the way, these are aliases" - snort!

    We've gone the opposite way in this house - I used to buy the boxed Valentines, but now I have Crafty Girl who disappears to her room with paper, stickers and fancy scissors and emerges with 20 gorgeous valentines. And now that we've managed to avoid being in the class with that Jessica bitch, there doesn't seem to BE an alpha female, so it's all good. Although she is careful not to write "Love, Eve" on any BOY cards, especially Tyler's because he is SUCH a pain in the neck.

    I didn't even know there was an animal called a Markhor - those are some badass horns.

  5. I had to google how warm 24C is, damn American's using idiotic measurement systems for everything. Also, I remember the misery of studying for a test in middle school where I had to label all the states AND capitals. So yes, Canadian's totally got off way easier. Target has sparkly Star Wars boxes of candy, but no Star Trek themed treats. Apparently the trekkies don't sell out as much to commercialization.

  6. I think those cheesy Valentine's are so cute now, but as a kid I do remember how hard it was to decide who got what. I remember punching mine out of a large book and the little envelopes too!

    This year we are using store bought for the most part with a few homemade tossed in for good measure.

    Just got one of our class lists...there is a Nevaeh...will not say a word.

  7. I should set up a Google alert for "bobcat in the sack!"

    My favorite thing about Valentine's day is that there are puns.

    Hope your boys have fun with the swap.