Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Although I love spontaneous tokens of affection, my Goodman knows that given a choice, I would be happier to get a good tool than a bunch of roses. This year he gave me both. The new laser level to replace the one stolen off his job will come in handy if I ever get back to making anything bigger than my cutting mat. I bought these for myself - the hope of Spring. I hate Valentine's day along with all the other Hallmark holidays that have insinuated themselves into Western (lackof) culture. Of course there are those of you out there who will snuffle into their sleeves and say "Sure, she was one of those kids who didn't get any Valentines at school..no wonder she doesn't like it". Nope, even way back then you could buy cheap little packs of 20 cutout cards where all you had to do was stamp your greasy pawprint on the backside and then pass them out to all of your classmates without even writing a name on the envelope, I thought it was a stupid holiday. Like most kids, I had my posse of friends, some fans and a handful of jealous enemies and suffered no social anxieties. I took no beatings and rarely had to give any. Comedy and reasoning were my shield and sword. I think I was in third grade when I told my mother I wouldn't be needing any Valentines that year. Fine with her, she had two younger aspiring social butterflies to groom and more likely candidates than I was, all scabs and attitude. I think Mom knew I was an anarchist by the time I was two and was resigned to it. So on Valentine's day we all had little paper baskets set out on our desks that we had made in Art class - Yes, ART! The Katonah Elementary had a wonderful paste-eating class, the highlight of my Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. At various points in the day, you were supposed to go around and put your cards in the baskets. I observed some kids poking through their take, counting the unopened cards they had received and groaning or gloating over how much or little they were liked by their peers. It seemed to me that almost everyone had about the same little heap of cheesy envelopes. One kid had obviously made her valentines, cutting and pasting the red paper and heart-shaped doilies, one for each and every person in the class and all with a wallet sized picture of Her Grace glued in the middle. An aspiring class president, no doubt. About five minutes before the bell we were allowed to get our coats, speak to the teacher, copy assignments from the board and generally mill around. I took the opportunity to surreptitiously take the pile of cards from my basket, stuff it deep into my desk and go around the room and redistribute the cards I had received. Kids looked at me and beamed. I snuck Miss PhotoThing's card into the teachers In Box no doubt stamping her an asskisser from that day on. I can remember being happy that folks were so easily amused.