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Saturday, February 07, 2009


Le Jour de L'amour

I came to a realization this week that made me quite happy, indeed.

As a super-special bonus of taking this time off for paternity leave, I also get to be gone from school when our students will be celebrating Valentine's Day!

Now, I've got nothing against the day in and of itself. I love getting all romantic and putting on my snazziest thong to entice my wife. It's a wonderful thing to have a special day set aside to celebrate love. (My apologies to the single folk out there who have to schedule special things to do with friends and alcohol to escape the ubiquity of the happy--or faux-happy--couples.)

The thing is, middle school love is not the same as real love. It's real love in the way that Taco Bell is real Mexican cuisine: it's a cheap knock-off that leaves you with diarrhea.

Middle schoolers don't tend to do subtlety. They like to give their Valentines big, ugly, pulsatingly red gifts. They do this during class. They do this during my class, 'cause it's one class about which they don't give a shit, so they can feel free to just go ahead and let their social lives move to the fore. So I'm often dealing with thirteen-year-olds handing their "loved" ones giant fuzzy apes in heart-covered boxers or plastic-wrapped boxes of cheap, shitty chocolates that they bought from the guy on the corner who'll be selling leprecahn hats in a few weeks' time.

It's not entirely about gaudy gifts, though. There also needs to be the requesite amount of drama in a middle school Valentine's Day. Because it's not Franken-love unless there's some kind of problem that needs to be dealt with, loudly. Invariably, on Valentine's Day, someone has broken up with someone else or someone has stolen someone else's boyfriend or some other great fucking tragedy that will allow the kids to feel like they're living life inside a Twilight novel.

This year, someone else gets to deal with all that crap. Huzzah!

I also get to miss April Fool's Day, but that's an entirely different set of annoyances.

I can definitely see the bonus nature of not having to do Valentine's Day with adolescents. Great timing on the paternity leave!
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