With Valentine's Day already upon us, it's time to think about the ones you love — and no, I'm not just talking about your significant other. If I could sum up my absolute best relationship of all time, it'd just take two words: my sister. She and I share all of the important stuff — a sense of humor, a sense of morals, a love of family, and a similar taste in music. We had very similar upbringings (besides the fact that I got my ears pierced way earlier than she was allowed to — sorry for bringing up painful memories, Leigh, but I had to), and can often go to each other for advice on the important stuff. Regardless of the time.
In May of 2013, she gave birth to my very first niece, Riley. Riley is sweet, chatty, and pretty darn smart. She's also thoughtful, just like my sister. After being in daycare for about a week, the two of them (credit should probably go entirely to my sister, but whatever) thought that it'd be nice to hand out Valentine's Day cards to all of the kids in her class. Not only is this adorable, but it's a start of a tradition that my niece will have to endure until she graduates, with honors, from elementary school.
"Karen, I don't know if you realize how ridiculous these cards are," Leigh told me. Granted, I remember the exchange quite well myself. In a box of standard Valentines that you'd get at CVS for $2.99, there was always that one that you didn't want to give to any boy. It typically said something as simple as "Be My Valentine," but you feared someone getting the wrong impression. The fact that you had to give one to every single person in the class didn't help. Every Valentine had to find a home in someone's DIY construction paper box.
But, that was back in the late '80s and early '90s. Things must have changed for the better, right? NOPE.
Here's a collection of Valentine's Day cards that would be absolutely creepy, or at least a little strange, for my less-than-2 year old niece to send to a daycare filled with tiny boys. For the record, they're also creepy for kids to send to anyone except for the trash can. Remember, everyone had cooties when these were a mandatory gift.
"Throw Me A Bone"
I know it’s a dog, but when you think of a romantic holiday, “bone” isn’t something you want to think about for a child’s Valentine’s Day card.
This card doesn’t even make much sense. I guess it’s kind of like, “give me a chance”? If that’s the case, it’s a sad Valentine to receive. It’s like, “Hey. I know you think I’m the kid who wipes his nose on his sleeve. But give me a chance. I’m so much more than that. I can do an impression of my Mom that makes my younger brother crack up, and I think you’d appreciate it too, if you threw me a bone and actually talked to me during recess.”
"The Secret Admirer"
Having a secret admirer in elementary school is like, the biggest deal in the world. Once you reach middle school, crushes are only revealed through your gossipy friends who think they’re super cool for wearing non-medicated lip balm.
In elementary school, this is bound to give a kid an anxiety attack. Especially if the admirer was actually a poorly masked rodent.
"Dying To Be Your Valentine"
Sure, this description might be for an older crowd, but it’s still a little grim. Let me preface.
Back in elementary school, I chose one box of Valentines to disperse to my classmates based on what I thought was “cool.” The drawing on this? Kind of cool. The message? Kind of creepy.
If some kid gave this to me back in the day, I’d probably report it to my parents and ask if 911 should be called. When you’re a kid, all you know is 911.
Hey, Valentine! I’m right outside your door right now. I sniffed out your place with my nose. I also have all of your online passwords, since I’m a cyber detective! Date me, or I’ll tell the entire world how you stole a pack of gum at Target last week. Yeah, your Mom didn’t find out, but I did.
Despite the fact that Frozen is supposedly loved by all, it started out as a movie for children. Young children. Children who like princesses, and snowmen, and Disney songs. My niece is a huge fan of Frozen, and would probably gravitate to this card in an instant. Of course, she has no clue what “hot stuff” means, nor should she for like, a decade.
"Meet Me Up Top"... Of What?
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the very first TMNT movie. I haven’t really followed the brand since. “That might be why this card is so confusing to me,” I thought to myself at the grocery store. That said, Google wasn’t much of a help either.
While this card isn’t necessarily creepy, it’s definitely weird. What kind of message is supposed to be sent here? If a 30-something doesn’t understand it, would a 2nd grader? Why does Donatello have hearts for eyes? Was he in the midst of a fight, and then got struck by love? Is it some kind of sexual innuendo the Turtles say to their love interests? Do the Turtles even have love interests?
I know for a fact that if I had this card as a child, I’d send it to nobody. I can’t send it to a boy, I can’t send it to a girl friend, and good god — I’d never think of gifting it to the teacher. How embarrassing for everyone.
If only this card said something like, “You warm my heart, friend!” it’d be appropriate for everyone.
"Squeeze Your Valentine"
Hugs are amazing. I think most of us can agree. However, think of the children. Won’t anyone think of the children?!
This is the type of Valentine’s Day card that is totally fine for a Mom or Dad to send to their daughter. Or for a puppy to send to his owner. But back in first grade, I didn’t want to hug any boy, nor did I think they were totally lovable. They were just there, and for some reason, they thought that going to the bathroom was hilarious.
As a side note, I totally wish my dog and cat were that close. Right now, their Valentine would be like, “You’re tolerable. Get out of my territory.”
"All Eyes On You"
A Valentine package that discusses death, as well as a Valentine with a detached eyeball? What a deal!
In elementary school, I’d take this to mean “I will take my entire eyeball out and throw it on you, so I can watch your every move.” Back at that age, I didn’t have a proper anatomy class, and figured that eyeballs weren’t totally connected to anything. All I knew was that your knee bone was connected to your thigh bone, and your thigh bone’s connected to your hip bone.
"That's So... Cancelled"
There is absolutely nothing wrong with these That’s So Raven Valentines. Nothing at all.
Except, the show ended back in 2007. Chances are, the kids who are sending these have no clue who Raven is. Obviously Raven-Symone is an absolute treasure, so they totally should. But they probably don’t.
Consider this to be my official petition for Salute Your Shorts Valentines to be in production for 2016.