Friday 02 Dec 2016

Yeah, Candy Day
Jennifer Flaten

The smell of glue permeates my home. Glitter is everywhere, including on the cat. This can only mean one thing Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching.

Oh, Valentine’s Day, you wonderful day of candy, I am so glad you are here mainly because my supply of Christmas candy is down to the ribbon candy and nobody, but nobody likes the ribbon candy. Yes, Valentine’s Day is about love, too, but mostly candy; you have your traditions I have mine.

Who cares if the candy comes in a heart shaped cardboard box covered in imitation velvet. It is still candy. Chocolate is chocolate and when you are desperate for chocolate, as I often am, you are willing to eat any kind of chocolate.

Even if the chocolate conceals some mysterious substance listed in the ingredients only as “nougat.” What exactly is nougat anyway? Is nougat the candy equivalent of hot dog meat; maybe, best you don’t ask?

In my quest to refill the candy drawer, on the cheap, I am more than happy to sacrifice my kitchen table. I do mean sacrifice, as someone glued an entire sheet of stickers to the table during the procedure. Yeah, candy sacrifice.

In grade school, in order to receive Valentines and the candy, don’t forget the candy, you must have the proper receptacle. It‘s a rule look it up. In our case, it is a cardboard box, decorated, of course.

When I say decorated, I mean covered in an inch thick layer of glue, with as many sequins, layers of glitter, stickers and odd and ends the kids can find. Sometimes I wonder if they are kids or magpies. I never seen such an odd assortment of things glued to a box.

One kid, in particular, was so excited to glue and arrange that she forgot to leave a slot for the Valentines. We had to do a little post op surgery to get a slot added. Even the boys have to make a Valentine box, although somehow, they are able to make a box that looks like G. I. Joe and NASCAR collided in a fiery explosion of glitter.

All this decorating comes after the arduous Valentine selection process. Less discussion and fewer changes went into creating the Constitution than what went into the kids picking their Valentines. This would be the girls only. The boy grabbed the first box that had a super hero on it.

Pretty much the same thing happened during the addressing of the Valentines phase. The girls spent much time, so much time, choosing who got what Valentine. Once they accomplished that, it was time to address, with utmost care, each card. 

It took the girls an entire weekend to address their Valentines. The boy, on the other hand, ripped the box open, jotted a name, maybe his classmates, on each card, scrawled something resembling his name on each one. He finished in record time so he could run outside and play football.

In my opinion, this just goes to my, actually all women’s, theory that men are just born without the Valentine gene. Don’t get me wrong, this is okay as long as they get us a big box of candy. It's the candy that counts.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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