Holidays are the worst time to be blogging. All the cliched blog posts pop up, repeating the same new insights we learned last year (and indeed, the year before) and even the most brilliant piece seems a bit tired. It gets even worse when the posts try to be unique, giving a twist to worn-out opinions. The twist is old.
Thus I cheerfully and dutifully begin a post on Valentine's Day - no, it is not original and I won't pretend it is. There is nothing to be said that wasn't said before so I hope there are more enlightening and enlivening things to read in your day. I thought at first to write about contentment and singleness - encouragement for those ladies and gentlemen out there who celebrate Valentine's Day by writing posts about how they should be content about it. I thought so, I mean to say, and decided against it, since the most recent thing I've read about love is Sense & Sensibility and because I'm not sure I have anything to add to the discussion. I'm not sure I'm even in the discussion. When you're sixteen, you aren't quite certain where childhood ends and singleness begins - and I'd rather err on the side of caution. Teenage angst is so overrated.
But while writing posts on Valentine's Day is optional, gearing up for the big valentine bash at our house isn't. (How serious are we? If you measure seriousness by the quantity of sprinkles dumped on the floor - we're pretty serious.) So I decided to perform duty and worry about brilliant blog posts later. Since I am a very organized person, unused to clutter and confusion, I put off making my valentines until the day before - all forty-five of them. Luckily, Daddy fixed the printer so the cards didn't print off aqua blue, and even more luckily, I had a sister eager to work for chocolate. So as we cut out the cards, Floppeth and I chatted about fashion, stolen blog designs and self portraits - the usual. We went a bit deeper and determined the extent and expression of our grumpiness. Then we got on the topic of amor, which was written on the card next to the cut-out of a Hershey's kiss.
"I tried to avoid putting love on my valentines," Floppeth, by way of conversation, noted.
I said something important enough to forget.
"But I doubt anyone even knows what it means," she amended.
On cue, another sister walked in: "Amore? What's that mean?"
"See," I said.
"You don't even know how to pronounce it," Flop said.
"What - ay more?"
Cruel big sister laughter.
"What? What's it mean?"
"Guess," I said.
"Chocolate? Is it chocolate?"
"Love," Floppeth said.
(And to further prove her hypothesis, another sister, coming at the tail end of the adventure, wanted to know the same thing.)
After hunting for a brown marker that actually worked (the final object not really fitting the bill either), I had all forty-eight valentines stuffed in a freezer bag and sitting on my desk. Then came the sugar cookies.
In general, I avoid baking. I love the finished product - and that's what Floppeths are for. I renounce baking and she renounces cooking and between as both, magic happens. But sometimes I tag along for the ride, persuaded by the motherly logic that I need something to do besides write and read. When that happens, Disaster joins in the fun too. Or Incompetence. Or both.
I succeeded in getting the butter and sugar in a bowl and fitting the cantankerous electric mixer with its beaters. I am justified in using a word as big as cantankerous. It just is. If one beater isn't in the right hole, the other one refuses to go in. A world of difficulty. And then there's this embarrassing trick it has of not starting unless it's plugged in. Thankfully Floppeth was feeling too cheery to tease me much about my culinary faults. And thankfully she was there to inform me that one had to press the start button ten times in rapid succession before the mixer decided to turn on. What would I ever do without you, darling? - that said to my sister, not the mixer.
Meanwhile one little sister kept snappin' photos ("for your blog, Bailey - oops, I keep forgetting to call you Tigger*"). She would focus the camera, someone would move and she would double over with uncontrollable cachinnations as a result.**
|We were engaged only a few days before and I expect it to last until another sister takes my place. Isn't he the cutest little Marine man?|