The chocolate is half-price on the 15th. Just saying.

Ye gods people, it’s Friday, and all I’ve posted this week is a picture of some toilet paper. I can totally do better. Here, for example, is Rowan, engaged in the time-honoured public-school tradition of writing Valentine’s Day cards. Or, as he calls them, Valentime’s Day cards.


I feel the need to point out that this photograph was taken two and a half weeks ago, when Rachel had enough foresight to pick up a couple of boxes of 99-cent V-day cards at Zellers and Rowan got on the project like white on rice. ORGANIZED MUCH? That’s us: totally on the ball. Lunches made and clothes laid out the night before. No rushing around in the morning trying to find that other mitten or realizing that you’ve dropped your kid off at senior kindergarten but have neglected to brush your teeth. We are with it, people. WITH IT. If I actually had ever done Christmas shopping in my life, I would venture to guess that the feeling I got when dropping a package of 14, pre-written, sealed Valentine’s Day cards into my son’s communication folder of a Thursday morning would be akin to having all my Yuletide gifts purchased by mid-October.

Rowan is at the lovely stage where everybody gives and everybody gets (except for the two Jehovah’s Witness kids in the class, who don’t participate in the holiday), where popularity doesn’t yet dictate how many cards will populate your little paper-plate Valentine’s Day mailbox. I went to a private Jewish day school as a kid, so valentines weren’t part of the curriculum (read: goyish, feh), and by the time I entered the public system in eighth grade, they were just one more instrument in the torture rack of the junior-high pecking order. In Grade 9, though, I remember that three kids at the top of that pecking order — Noel, Josh, and Joanna — made valentines for every kid in the grade. Every single one of us, from the computer nerds in the gifted class to the library club president, got a personalized Valentine, signed, with love, from the three of them. It stood out, you know? Interestingly, Joanna now runs a lifestyle website called The Sweet Spot, while Noel is president and CEO of — yes, the site with the tagline, “Life is short, have an affair.” Who knew?