Stinky Valentines

What do you do when your loved ones think your valentines stink? Well, I’m writing a blog post about it, but hopefully, there is a lesson to be learned from having stinky valentines.

Our recent crazy schedule and even crazier weather prevented me from taking the kids shopping for their valentines this year. I had a window of approximately 2.5 hours to get groceries and run errands in town one morning. Prior to making my mad dash to the big city of Jefferson City, I asked each child what kind of valentine and treats they would like to share with their classes. Each one reported what they would like, but all three ended their request with, “Just get something.” (Clearly, their love and gratitude was shining in those moments.)

For my 8 year-old son, I purchased dinosaur valentines with Rice Krispie treats. For my 10 year-old son, I purchased his standard sports valentines with ring pops. For my 12 year-old daughter, I purchased chocolate craze valentines and Fun Dip packets. The chocolate craze valentines came complete with chocolate-scented erasers.

I thought these were fairly successful purchases, but the 12 year-old was not pleased with the chocolate craze valentines and proceeded to tell me they were stinky and kind of creepy. The 10 year-old nosed his way into the conversation and agreed with the 12 year-old that her valentines stunk.

I was shocked! As a choco-holic, I could not fathom the idea that people wouldn’t love chocolate-scented erasers!

According to my daughter, it’s wasn’t a big deal. She was fine with just taking the Fun Dip packets, but it’s the principle of the thing. How could my family think the valentines I selected stank?

Last week I shared the experience of my horses rejecting apple treats and giving gifts that weren’t received with enthusiasm or gratitude. Maybe, I’m losing my touch as a master gift giver, but I am still going strong when it comes to finding the lesson to be learned in potentially disappointing situations such as these.

When someone thinks our valentines stink, they may be right in the olfactory sense, but they are wrong about the spirit of the valentine. There are many folks out there who could use a punny reminder that they are cute, special, appreciated, and loved.

Personally, there is NO better compliment than to be told I am better than chocolate, and it never hurts to be reminded that I am a tough cookie. And donuts can be the BEST, if you really want one.

While I did not take my children’s criticism to heart, I reminded them that their classmates probably shopped at the same store I did and may have chosen the delightful, chocolate craze valentines to bring to school.
“What will you say if a classmate gives you one of these cute cards?” I asked them. “Are you going to tell them their valentines stink?”

“No,” was their answer.

“And why not?” was my response.

“Because that might hurt their feelings,” said my daughter.

“That’s right,” I said and hugged her.

At that point, my 8 year-old walked in and asked who the cute cookie valentines were for. It was awesome!

My daughter did not take the chocolate craze valentines to school. My children did not insult anyone with their opinions of stinky valentines (as far as I know), and the opportunity to teach about kindness and different opinions was a sweet result of my unsuccessful valentine purchase.

Think about things you have given or received. Was your gift accepted with joy and gratitude or rejection with a turned-up nose? Were you a grateful recipient or a was your reaction less than thankful?

Consider these situations, and if you have been in a stinky valentine state-of-affair, take the opportunity to make things right. As a giver, understand where the other person is coming from. Let them know you value them in your own way and hope they can see that. As a receiver, take in the grace that comes with being loved and the thought that went into your gift. Either way you can come out smelling like a rose if you clear the air by talking about your feelings and respecting the intentions of others.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. If you could use a punny, chocolate-scented valentine, just let me know. The first 15 friends will receive their very own message of choco-love from me WITH a super cool eraser. My 8 year-old claimed one of the ice cream cone valentines for himself.

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