Thursday, February 11, 2010

Are We the Only Couple Waiting for Their Tax Returns to Pay Off Christmas?

Why does every holiday have to be some grand, gift-giving extravaganza? It seems like they all revolve around buying a present for your loved ones. When I was a kid, Easter meant coloring eggs the day before and leaving them for the Easter Bunny to hide for the hunt. He'd leave us a basket filled with a skewed candy to plastic shredded grass ratio. Heavy on the grass. Nowadays, many (most?) kids that I know get presents for Easter. EASTER! It's like the year's first quarter Christmas.

Don't even get me started on the Tooth Fairy. Someone needs to reel that bitch in. When my kids find out from their friends and classmates that the Tooth Fairy is leaving books, toys, stuffed animals, and significant amounts of cash under their pillows? I'm met with the look of utter disappointment when my children find the four quarters that were placed lovingly beneath theirs. Tooth Fairies of the world? You all need to have a summit and come to some kind of standard agreement and chisel it in stone. Pronto.

Valentine's Day used to mean flowers, chocolate, and romantic dinners. Now it's the gift of... cellphone service? It was bad enough when retailer's marketing departments implied that you were a slouch of a husband or boyfriend if you didn't lavish your wife or girlfriend in overpriced flowers and tacky matching earring/necklace/ring combinations, but now if you A) don't buy her cell phone for her, and B) provide an inferior range of service - she will leave your ass.

And frankly, I've never really "got" Valentine's Day. I don't even know what the original premise of the holiday is nor do I care enough to exhaust Wikipedia to find out; whatever it was it got lost along the way and became a stress factor. If you're in a new relationship, you freak out over what to get the other person because you don't want to come on too strong, or too light, or outdo the other person, or scare the other person away, or appear too desperate, or cheap, or trying too hard, or too blasé. If you're married you don't want to live with the silent treatment if you screw it up. I think flowers are a big fat waste of money and I'd rather have a new article of clothing. Or shoes. Or a purse. And the last thing I want to do is go out to eat in a crowded restaurant charging inflated prices for moderate food in the name of ...romance? Eff that noise.

You want to know what one of the most romantic things Mr. Farklepants ever did? Honestly, it was one of those scenarios where I was genuinely touched and flattered. Are you ready? Okay, here it is: he made babysitting arrangements so he could take me out. That's it right there - CONSIDERATION. If we were to go out we would need someone to look after the kids and he knew I would have to start making the phone calls and he took it upon himself to save me that stress. And it is random acts such as these that I find romantic and make me want to take off my clothes and roll around on him.

*photo by DorothyZ.


MommyTime said...

Our Valentine's Day tradition, for the last ten years? We call our favorite sushi restaurant and order more sushi than we normally feel is reasonable. For take out. We reason thusly: we spend the extra $$ on more sushi rather than a tip, and we come home to a pre-cleaned house, curl up in something cozy, eat in perfect peace and quiet without having to wait for a table, and spend an evening actually talking or *ahem* whatever. Perfect.

PS The toothfairy at our house leaves $2 for your very first lost tooth and $1 thereafter. In quarters. Her concession to amping up the ante was to let me make a special tiny box (match box covered in 'fancy' fabric) to hold said tooth and subsequent quarters. There must be a union or something that your TF and mine belong to.

slow panic said...

yeah it's all gotten totally out of control. we are scaling down. my seven year old said i am his valentines present. little swetie pie ( or kiss ass -- i'm not sure which)

Anonymous said...

We don't "do" Valentine's Day. The Tooth Fairy brings one Sacajaewa dollar per tooth. The Easter Bunny brings chocolate and we don't have rogue leprechauns leaving ANYTHING on St. Patrick's Day (a trend in this town). WTF on the holidays, people? Let it rest! There's enough pressure!

barbra said...

Seriously. Seriously. Making the babysitting arrangements is the BEST GIFT EVER.

(We don't do Valentine's Day. Both of our birthdays are close to Valentine's Day so we just ignore 2/14.)

(At our house, the Tooth Fairy leaves four quarters and a little ring or a Hot Wheel for the first couple of teeth, then four quarters for little teeth and eight quarters for the molar-type teeth. And I live in Southern California!)

I was kind of hoping that this recession would rewrite the overconsumption problem. Maybe just a little?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Parents are totally out of control. It drives me nuts.

Wait until they get older. A Betsey Johnson dress for a freshman for homecoming. You've got to be kidding me.

Michele R said...

we also do 4 quarters for a tooth and $2 for a molar. Many of their classmates get more $$.

Jan said...

When I was a kid, you got a nickel for your bottom teeth and a quarter for your top teeth. These days parents need to take out an extra mortgage to pay for the Tooth Fairy's visits. I don't get it, which is probably a good thing since I've entered Grandma Land.

Allison said...

four quarters??? we were LUCKY if we got one! when did the Tooth Fairy get a raise and start leaving presents??

great post! you are funny as ever.

Manic Mommy said...

A fiver for the first tooth and a single dollar for each subsequent tooth.

Arranging the child care is HUGE. I almost want to roll around on him.

Hula Girl at Heart said...

The most romantic thing my husband does for me is vaccuum the floor. Seriously. Well, the diamond ring he gave me at Christmas was okay, too. But the housework? Awesome.

calicobebop said...

Oh yes, holidays are going crazy I agree. My girl got a $5 Barbie fairy from the tooth fairy instead of cash. I figured she could use the Barbie and I could use the cash.

And Mr. Farklepants has now raised the bar on what to expect from husbands - you totally set everyone else's man up for that one! :)

JoeinVegas said...

That last line sounded the most romantic to me. Hope you ended up doing that, much better than giving him a card.