Friday, February 14, 2014

the tiny violin is playing

Normally I am not an Anti-Valentine's Day person. I don't feel the need for flowers, cards, and chocolate covered strawberries but if you do, then go for it. But this year something snapped and I am ready to walk down the street slapping flowers out of peoples' hands and punching all the stuffed bears holding hearts right in their stupid faces. 

It started when I felt pressure to make the kids' Valentine's for school all cute and Pinterest perfect. I bought all the supplies, sat down with them, and said "nope." It all went back to the store and I picked up a few packs of boxed Valentine's because I just wanted easy. Last night I sat down to assemble the cards and the first pack immediately started to raise my blood pressure. 
Where the fuck is that sticker, which was called a gift sticker on the box indicating you should not use it as decoration, supposed to go? There's no envelopes to contain them. No little slits to attach it through. The cards weren't meant to be folded. Come on Disney, help me out, give me some instructions. I don't know exactly why but this pissed me off. 

Luckily I know myself well enough to know to buy an extra box of $3 Valentines because I am susceptible to Murphy's Law. Thankfully the other two sets, which contained gift tattoos, came with slits in the cards to attach those tattoos. But I still had to cut all the tiny tattoos apart, write the kids names, and seal the cards with a tiny heart sticker. Sounds easy, took almost an hour. By the end I felt like I should have done the damn Pinterest Valentine's because they would have taken less effort and time. 

And this set me off into an Anti-Valentine's Day rage. I had just spent an hour putting together tiny little cards that will last about 30 seconds in the hands of kids and no one was going to tell me thank you. You always hear parenthood is a thankless job, but last night that hit me hard. There was a holiday the next morning, a holiday I had put effort into with classroom cards and a few little treats (think small boxes of chocolates and heart ring pops treats, not like giant gifts), and what was I going to get for the holiday? Nothing. Would anyone in my family even tell me Happy Valentine's day? Probably not. (for the record, they didn't). I WAS ANNOYED. 

That made me remember that a month ago, when it was my birthday I was also overlooked. No cards, no gifts, sure they told me Happy Birthday but I wanted more. It was my day and I wanted to feel like it was my day. My friends gave me more recognition over my birthday than my family did. I WAS NOW EVEN MORE ANNOYED. 

When I married jparks I knew I was entering a life of no holidays gifts, forgotten birthdays, and grumbles of "Why do I have to show that I love you on one specific day when I usually do it every day?" and I was okay with that. But then the cheap Valentine cards entered my life and I snapped. I don't care if it's selfish or childish but I want recognition from my family for everything I do. I want flowers sometimes. Or a card. Or whatever else normal families do for moms to say thanks. I want that. And apparently until I get that I'm going to scowl at every happy person today because I am just a child waiting for a gold star from the teacher for behaving well in class. 

(To be fair I think I've been stressed lately with a few things that don't have anything to do with holidays or birthdays and that has helped push me to the breaking point. I know, I know, here's some cheese to go with my whine. I should grow up. Truth is, I'll be over this shortly and by Easter I'll be ready to throw some stupid Easter party/egg hunt for the kids)


  1. Bad jparks! Bad, bad, bad!! Do you hear me, jparks??? Baaaaad!

    Happy Valentines Day, Regan, from the rest of us!

  2. I don't think it's selfish or childish to want recognition and love from your family. I think it's completely human and normal to want to be recognized and appreciated -to be seen.
    Even when you know what you're getting into, it doesn't always mean you really KNOW what you're getting into, or that it won't still sometimes be hard, or you might sometimes not be okay with it. I'm sorry, friend. Happy Valentine's Day! And just think, you'll get to hold this over the kids' heads forever!
    I hope your day gets better xoxoxoxoo

  3. Happy Valentine's Day sweetheart!!! There's lots of people that love you and will show it in various ways. There is a similar "gifting" philosophy in my household - well, in half my household, so I'm totally picking up what you're laying down. Pinkie swear.

  4. Uri is very lucky our birthdays are one day apart so he never forgets and we usually just do something together. We are not card/gift people either. The kids didn't make something for you at school? That stuff is usually pretty cute. But I hear ya. I am also disappointed that the cheapy valentines don't come with envelopes. I miss that.

  5. Our seven year old neighbor brought over a few of those exact valentines for us, and she just... awkwardly handed us the stickers too, in a separate little pile.

    We aren't really gift/card/holiday people either, and that is fine, usually. But last year, I really wanted my husband to get me a particular cake, and I gave him a heads up and plenty of warning and details and he DIDN'T GET IT. I bought it for myself a few weeks after my birthday and wouldn't let him have any. And I still holler at him about it.

  6. Dude, I don't think this is whiny at all. Although I have heard a lot of mom stress lately from, well, moms, so I think this holiday is one of those that is a lot of work for one parent and the other parent doesn't realize it and we don't get a lot of recognition for all the stuff we do from our kids or our partner and it gets super old super fast. I definitely feel unnapreciated and like no one would get this shit done if it wasn't for me and no one even realizes or cares how much work it is. Not to diminish you, just to say that I think as our kids get more school aged all these holidays are WORK and no one really says thanks and it sucks. It happened to me too this year.
    The birthday thing, though? That's totally unacceptable. I am not down with jparks not giving you a present or a cake or a taking you out to dinner! WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?!? Geez louise. He needs to be reprogrammed, that is not good. I mean, I have to hold Erik's hand or I get a present I don't want, so it's not all puppies and roses over here either, but you should be getting presents! On your birthday! It's the American Way! Boo to that.

  7. My ex was the worst about birthdays and holidays. They weren't a big deal to him so that meant they weren't supposed to be a big deal to me either. Truth is it bugged me a lot. I don't blame you for being upset. I would be too. Next year we will just have to plan a big birthday event for you.

  8. I think moms generally get the short end of the appreciation stick from their kids and it sucks. They'll get it when they're 30 but until then... bah. But no excuses from the other grownup in the house! (Or the PURPORTED ONE). Its one thing to not be "good at" things like birthdays or anniversaries. But it's not hard to just be a decent human being about it. The company he works for makes a fucking calendar app and this is why Amazon exists, to save lame husband asses! And frankly, you have to be pretty cold not to just say "thanks" every once in a while. So I am for less whining, sure, and more shanking! You don't have to write out Valentine's cards in prison!

  9. Um, I'm the "unknown" above - not sure how I messed that up.

  10. I think your kids just need to be gently told that a remembrance would be nice--any little kid can make a card! I'm surprised they haven't done it in school. I vividly remember the Mother's Day when my mom cried because my brother and I hadn't gotten her anything. I was 13, and honestly didn't know she cared about that holiday. I have never missed a Mother's Day since then. If she had mentioned it in advance I would never have missed that one. Your kids want you to be happy, so if it would make you happy to have them do something for you on special occasions, go ahead and explain it to them. They probably just don't know.

    Odds are high that one day your kids'll have a partner who will expect recognition of their birthday, so it might be a favor to them to get them in the habit now.

    Some interesting (though not that deep) info about the psychology of gifting: