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Happy Valentine's Day!

February 10, 2008

Valentine's Day Rant Valentine's Day Rant

~by Jenna McCarthy


Remember when you were dating, and Valentine's Day was a Big Deal? I mean, weeks of planning could go into that single evening. There was the sexy new lingerie you had to buy, along with the thoughtful token of your romantic affection, plus the best-you-could afford wine chosen specifically to accompany the sensual, home-cooked meal you planned to whip up (just as soon as you figured out-and this was without the help of Google, mind you-how the hell to make a prime rib). I won't even mention the weeks of ramped up workouts endured in an effort to dazzle in the aforementioned whisper of lace.


These days, at least in my house, the preparations are much simpler (Push-up bra? Check!) and the only thing being made in my kitchen is a dinner reservation. No longer do I fantasize about candlelit, champagne-soaked celebrations involving hours of intense eye-gazing; my heart-day hopes are pinned to a successful combination of a) landing a babysitter and b) not being too full to fool around after dinner.


We're so programmed by the Hallmark Holiday mentality that we actually fall for the hype. We buy dozens of boxes of chalky, heart-shaped candy and Disney-character cards for our kids to distribute so their classmates will know how much they care. We fork over ridiculous sums for overpriced foliage and prix-fixe dinners at fancy restaurants when in truth, we prefer tulips to roses and would honestly rather stay home and eat pizza in our PJs. We pretend to be thrilled to receive approximately 17 million calories worth of drugstore chocolate we don't really like and swear we won't touch but somehow wind up polishing off in a matter of days.


The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that somewhere in the neighborhood of one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide-85% of which are purchased by women. (Way to go, guys.) I haven't stumbled across any restaurant, flower or candy industry statistics, but I imagine they are equally staggering. And here's the irony of this so-called holiday: All that money, all that effort, is sort of meaningless because it's expected. He sees that relentless parade of diamonds-are-forever commercials, too, and knows he'll be in the doghouse if he doesn't do or buy you something.

I don't know about you, but I could definitely live without the forced affection. I'd find it infinitely more touching if my kids came home with a hand-picked assortment of weeds one random day in March, or my husband slipped a sweet, hand-written love note into my desk-unprompted by any official holiday or celebration-for me to find later at work. And honey, if you're reading this, just so we're clear: I'll take a diamond tennis bracelet any day of the year.


Jenna McCarthy is the author of the upcoming book, The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties . When she's not sharpening pencils, she can be reached at 

80th Academy Awards 80th Academy Awards

And the winner is... Print out your ballot for your own Oscar Party and see which of your guest comes closest to guessing correctly! Only 13 more days until the Academy Awards.


Do you remember the days pre-children when you actually new which films were nominated for best picture? This of course was when you were not sleep deprived and could make it through a whole movie without falling asleep.


Schedule a babysitter this week and try to get out and at least see one of the movies nominated...

Juno, Atonement,  Michael Clayton, No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood.

Homeschool, Private School or Public School? Homeschool, Private School or Public School?

Gone are the days of enrolling your child(ren) in a public or private school and leaving them in the hands of the 'system' for their schooling years.  Parents are much more involved from pre-school on up and are informing themselves of all the options available. is thrilled to welcome our newest Sponsor, Advantages Online Private School .  Read on for details of this exciting educational resource.    


Welcome to a new alternative for grades 2-12.

Advantages Online Private School offers a complete curriculum for grades 2-12, delivered completely via the internet. The curriculum is nationally approved, and meets or exceeds state standards for every state in the nation. The flexibility of our school allows for your child to work at his or her own pace, completing unlimited courses. These courses contain media rich components with access to the best libraries, museums and educational sites the world has to offer.


You Choose. You can home school, or let our highly qualified teachers educate your child. All subjects are taught by content area specialists, and work one on one with your child within our secure, online, student-teacher internal messaging system.


(Business Logos) AdvantagesLogo130.jpgAdvantages also offers college placement assistance, reading specialists, and tutoring services to help your child compete in the 21st Century.


Advantages Online Private School
Be advantaged.

Go Green Go Green

Recycling is a big part of keeping our earth a healthy place to live, work and play.  By throwing away items that are recyclable, water, energy and natural resources are greatly diminished.  Did you know...


For every ton of paper that is recycled, the following is saved:

  • 7,000 gallons of water;
  • 380 gallons of oil; and,
  • enough electricity to power an average house for six months.


The more we throw away, the more space we take up in landfills...the less we throw away, the longer our landfills will last.  Today, 86% of Americans have access to curbside recycling programs - do your part and recycle today! 

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