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Hallmark Hell

Not be to negative, but I’m just going to say that whether you are married, dating, or single, Valentine’s Day is fraud. I mean, seriously, what the hell is the history behind Valentine’s Day? Is it bad to admit that I don’t know? I just considered Googling it, but realized that I don’t care. It’s a holiday that Hallmark created solely because sales dipped after Christmas and the next major event is Mother’s Day. They needed something to keep the company afloat from January to May. The overall outcome of Valentine’s Day is single women feeling depressed that they aren’t married and married women feeling depressed that their husbands wasted $80 on half-dead, grocery store roses that they picked up on their way home from work. If they remembered at all, that is. And if you need any more of reason to hate the holiday, I will mention that grown women don’t like stuffed animals and conversation hearts don’t even taste good. So there.

Unfortunately, I feel peer-pressured to participate. So, this afternoon, I realized that I had nothing planned and only about two hours until my husband got home from work to cook something up. It was too late in the game to send something to his office, so I’d have to come up with something else. I figured I’d swing in to the grocery store on the way home and pick up a nice heart-felt card and some cookies to leave out for him in the morning before work. Simple, but thoughtful. I pulled into the parking lot and searched for a spot. It was oddly crowded for a Wednesday evening. I should have known, right then and there, the shit show that I was about to endure. However, in previous years, I would have been more prepared for events like this and wouldn’t be trying to throw something together last minute. During my third lap around the lot, I seriously considered taking advantage of the “Expectant Mother Parking Spot.” I was wearing a bulky coat. I could pull it off. I have a baby with me – isn’t that reason enough to let me park two feet from the door? Enjoy it while it lasts, pregnant ladies. Once you pop the kid out, you can say goodbye to any special treatment.

I ended up parking about three miles from the door. I hauled Greyson inside with me and headed straight for cards. I was greeted by Hallmark Hell. Every husband in the universe was jam packed in that aisle. I was literally the only woman – not to mention the only person with a baby – in that aisle. I looked like such a slacker-wife, standing among all these last-minute men browsing through cheesy cards. The only thing worse than cheesy cards is picked-over cheesy cards. And on top of all of that, I had an impatient one-year-old screaming and reaching for the tacky teddy bears that I despise so much. I stood there, pushing the cart back and forth, yelling “vroooom” to Greyson to keep him occupied while trying to read a few cards and choose something meaningful. I got a lot of dirty looks from the men around me – since I was clearly in their way – and I had to hold my tongue from telling them that maybe they should try taking their kids out alone more often. I grabbed a card without reading it and made my way for the door.

When I got home, unloaded the car, and got Grey inside, I took a deep breath. Shopping with a child should be considered an Olympic sport. I finally took a second to read the card that I had grabbed and realized that it was covered in conversation hearts that all said “Love you.”  After all that, I picked a card featuring the candies that don’t even taste good. Maybe next year, I’ll go all out and buy the tacky teddy bear, too.

 

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