Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Holiday From Holidays

If you were tired of hearing about a "war on Christmas", get ready for a couple of weeks of complaining about a "war on Valentine's Day".  A St Paul, Minnesota elementary school is banning the celebration of Valentine's Day this year--because it could be perceived as "offensive" to those who do not mark the holiday.  In fact, the principal of the school says he is doing away with the celebration of all "dominant" holidays in an effort to be more "inclusive of his diverse student body".

We all know what that language means: marking holidays celebrated by white, Christian students is "offensive and a micro-agression"to racial and religious minorities--while marking white, Christian students mark holidays celebrated by those of a minority or immigrant background is being "tolerant".  But that is not the focus of this My Two Cents.  Instead,  I want to enthusiastically jump on-board this "war against Valentine's Day". 

In elementary school, Valentine's can be a source of frustration, consternation and angst for young boys.  When I was a kid, the day was marked by the exchange of those cut-out cards and candy hearts--both featuring lame sayings like "Be mine" and "You're Sweet".  Class rules required you to bring a card and candy for everyone--so that the unpopular kids wouldn't feel bad about being unpopular.

But as an 8-year old, countless hours would be spent wrangling over what card and what candy heart to give to everyone.  You weren't about give another guy a card saying "Be Mine" or "I think you're sweet!"  That is what the "Happy Valentines Day" or "You're Cool" cards and hearts were for.  But there were never enough of those to go around.  Plus, you didn't want to give the shall we say "awkward" girls anything that indicated in any way that you might like them--as they would never let you alone on the playground or on the bus--leading to endless teasing from your friends and angry denials that she had given you cooties.

So rant and rave all you want Bill O'Reilly about your "war on Valentine's Day"--but there are probably a couple hundred grade-school boys breathing a sigh of relief right now.

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