Friday, 12 February 2010

Scary Valentines

We received our annual Valentine's Day card from my mother a few days ago, and I have it displayed on the sideboard.  It's addressed to both of us.  I find it festive, and my mother never misses an opportunity to be festive.  Now that Chumley knows the cultural differences between US and UK Valentine's Day, he is content to have it on display.  (At least he hasn't taken it off display.)  However, this was not always the case.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my parents may like Chumley better than me, but suffice it to say, they are fans.  As one would expect, my mother sent him a Valentine's Day card in the year after I had introduced them.  It arrived festooned with a lovely foil heart sticker.  I spied it at his house and mentioned it in passing.  I was expecting gratitude that my P's thought highly of him, especially my mother.  But instead, his response was, "Yeah, it really freaked me out."

Unlike the US, where elementary schools have Valentine's Day parties and every member of the class is expected to give a valentine to every other member of the class, Valentine's Day UK style is reserved for the truly lusty.  I tried to find a card to send my parents this year, but gave up after too many references in the card aisle to underwear or the lack of it.  Here's a great blog entry on She's Not From Yorkshire that makes the point.  No wonder Chumley was freaked out.  He knew mom liked him, but this was ridiculous.

Now that I've explained how wide the US Valentine net is traditionally cast, Chumley seems calmer.  And the net is getting wider all the time.  Case in point: if Jesus can be one's Valentine, what problem could Chumley possible have with a little mash note from my mother?


CambridgeLady said...

Yes we were caught out by Valentines Day the first year we lived in the USA. Neither of my kids had taken cards to school and of course received little cards and sweets from all their classmates. My son, aged 7, was really embarrassed by the whole thing.

It's kind of sweet - I think the US tradition will catch on here - not least because the retailers won't want to miss a money-making opportunity!!

Good post :o)

ChaChaneen said...

Oh, it's huge here. The kids came home today all sugared up from treats and enjoyed their classroom parties thoroughly! ha ha