Last week I stood in Target for thirty minutes, trying to think like a certain bespectacled, feisty, burpy, stubborn, funny, opinionated fifth grade girl who would sooner lick a furry spider than admit that all fifth grade boys are *not* necessarily oozing boils of pus on the collective butt of humanity and I did this by holding up a packet of valentines and asking myself “Will giving these things to boys make me gag up all my lungs in homeroom tomorrow? Twice?”
It was a struggle, but I finally settled upon the least mushy or offensive of the bunch, an innocuous looking combination of cards and Pixy Stix, hoping that the cards with little hearts all over them would be ignored and immediately ripped to shreds by both sexes equally in a desperate attempt to score the two long, thin paper vials of crack sugar.
I gave the box of valentines to Helena along with her class list and reminded her once more that if she wanted to participate in the Valentine’s Day celebration with her class, then she had to abide by the rules and give everyone a Valentine, regardless if they peed standing up or sitting down. And it wouldn’t kill her to write something personal on each one. And stop rolling her eyes already. Yes, as a matter of fact, I can see through walls.
That night as I watched American Idol, a voice kept drifting in from the kitchen asking “Mom, does ‘gross’ have an ‘e’ at the end of it?” and “Mom, how do you spell ‘disgusting?'” and “Mom, does ‘buttface’ have one ‘t’ or two?”
And it dawned on me that I would make a fortune by inventing a pre-printed Valentine for certain bespectacled, feisty, burpy, stubborn, funny, opinionated fifth grade girls who would sooner lick furry spiders than admit that all fifth grade boys are *not* necessarily oozing boils of pus on the collective butt of humanity. Maybe one with a picture of a big, red, puffy heart being electrocuted with a taser into unconsciousness, with the following sentiment:
Happy Valentine’s Day except not really. Don’t get any ideas. You are still gross and I’m not going out with you, no matter how many times you shove your whole sandwich into your mouth and pretend it’s a zit. OMG. I’m only giving you this card because the rules say we have to give cards to everyone so if I don’t, I’ll get in trouble and Mrs. W will probably make me miss recess and write something dumb like Valentine’s Day Should Be a Treat For Everyone!! a hundred bajillion times. OMG. And then I won’t be able to stand on the sidewalk with Allison and McKenna and Taylor and Sara and talk about their UGGS and how my mom won’t buy them for me until my feet stop growing which means we won’t talk about whose house we’re going to hang out at later which means I’ll probably just have to go home alone and be stuck doing dishes or laundry. Or math. WORST DAY EVER. And then my mom will want to know why my fingers are all dead and I’ll have to explain why I had to write all those Valentine’s Day Should Be a Treat For Everyone!! which I wouldn’t even HAVE to do if you had just been born a girl to begin with. OMG. And then she’ll probably ground me from the computer and then I won’t get a cell phone until I’m old, like thirty. WORST DAY EVER AGAIN. So here’s your card. Happy Valentine’s Day. Not.