Budget Your Love Fest

Apparently journalists are suddenly concerned with the economic impact on America’s collective love life, because the buzz has been celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget.  It is unfortunate that my budget is not the same as Matt Lauer’s.  Valentine’s on my budget would include borrowing art supplies from my children and crafting a card that would rival any second grader employed by Hallmark.  Throw in a bag of Hershey’s kisses and a matching number from my very own smoochy lips and you’ve got Valentines on a budget.

My budget also does not include building space into my kitchen to house multiple sets of dishes and glasses used exactly once a year.  I don’t care if these holiday themed dinnerware sets come from the Pottery Barn or The Dollar Store, you need a place to store them.  Do you really pull out the red tinted glasses and heart smeared plates on the 14th or have I just lost my sense of romance?

The best budget and family friendly idea of the year is a romantic dinner for two at home, after tucking the kids snugly in their beds.

Sounds good in theory, but allow me to demonstrate a real life love fest.

5:30 pm – Throw several dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets in the oven.  Put a pot of water on to boil for a quick Mac & Cheese side dish.  While waiting for the water to boil, rescue Simba from the grasp of the dog’s jaws, inspect and sign homework papers, and throw the now clean laundry into the dryer.   Take the dog outside because she’s chewing on your slippers and you can’t shake her.  Answer the phone for the four hundredth time that night. While on the phone, go fetch the incessantly barking dog and free your sweet old neighbor who is trapped in her car.

6:00 pm – Get OFF the phone and scrape all black residue from the chicken nuggets.  Salvage whatever over boiled water is left in the pot and quickly add the maccaroni.  Finish mixing the mac and yell to your kids to set the table for themselves.

6:30 pm – Listen to reading homework; make sure the kids shower and brush; do the dishes; don’t kill the dog; mop the floor after scraping your slipper free from the sticky goo your daughter made in science class; go to the bathroom.

8:00 pm – Assign your daughter the job of setting a ‘fancy’ table for you.  Make her promise not to lick each fork to remove dishwasher spots.  Send your husband down to the corner market to get the cashews for the cashew chicken you are making.

8:30 pm – Tuck your daughter into bed, send your son to read, and take a much needed shower.  Put the dog in her crate so she doesn’t push the bathroom door open and run off with your clean underwear.

8:40 pm – Tame your hair, paint your face, and dress in the first clean thing hanging in your closet.

8:55 pm – Snack on the burnt crisps leftover from the kid’s nuggets.

9:00 pm – Tuck your son into bed.  Start cooking.  Again.

9:30 pm – Serve a lovely cashew chicken dinner minus the cashews, because apparently there was a run on cashews this afternoon.

9:40 pm – Light the candles and take out the crying dog.

9:45 pm – Just as your husband leans into the flickering light of the candles to plant a big one on your lips, the dog freaks out because your neighbor decides he’s going to shovel.  Again.  Save the kiss for the later and grab the dog before she wakes up your daughter.

9:47 pm – Too late.  The kids wake up and filter through to use the bathroom and get a drink.  It’s an emergency of course.  You can faintly see symptoms of dehydration in their eyes.  Let them taste your cashewless chicken.

9:55 pm – Explain the importance of alone time between parents and threaten their lives with ten years of morning till night homework, year-round school, and a chore list that stretches to New Jersey and back.

10:00 pm – Throw out the cold and somewhat lousy dinner and go straight to dessert.  Ensure your spouse that yawning  and drooping eyelids are the latest signs of true love.

NOW, if the media are really concerned about America’s love life, they would just send their teenagers to our house to babysit for less than ten dollars an hour.

What do you think?

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19 thoughts on “Budget Your Love Fest

  1. Gayle From Southern Thresholds

    Cute story…tuck this tip away for future reference…years ago as a young bride with NO money but wanting to do something a little special for my husband I came up with a way to make him a heart shape cake without buying a special pan that would only be used once a year…all you need is one square pan (8 or 9 inch) and the same size round cake pan…I actually made my cake from scratch back then but a regular size box of cake mix will make the two pans…after baking, cooling and removing cakes from pan; place the square one on a large serving surface ( I covered a large piece of sturdy cardboard with white freezer paper that first time as I did not even own a cookie sheet at the time) a cookie sheet would work well too..anyway, place the square shape cake with a pointed end facing down/up forming a triangular shape…cut round cake in half and place a half on either top side of the square with uncut side facing outwards…this will form a perfect heart shape and after icing; it looks like one giant heart shaped cake…my husband was astounded by his edible Valentine and I’ve made him one almost every year since…and guess what? I still do not own a special heart shape pan and have no desire to buy one still.

    Reply
  2. Chrissy

    that was some funny stuff, but surely, you are not that…bad? Surely you are more together than that, right? I mean, yeah, its funny, but you are not a space cadet. You have a better handle than this. I refuse to believe this craziness. The dog part is the easiest part to me of course 🙂 I can fix all that for you. It was pretty hilarious that you have to free your neighbor because she’s trapped in her car. Doesn’t your dog have any of her own toys to replace your personal belongings with? That underwear part was FUNNNNNY. I swear, you should write for a sitcom. As I read, I picture it all in my head and think I would be laughing if this were on TV. Other than that, get it together woman ;o) (p.s. macaroni)

    Reply
  3. Lois Lane II

    Haha! It’s so funny that you have that pic on there, because I’m heading to a conference for two days, so after my hubby left for work, I made the bed and put sweethearts on his pillow. =)

    Reply
  4. lunzy

    love it. But I’m usually alone, with both munchkins, for VD. So heart-shaped pancakes with red jelly-syrup is about as fancy as we get around here. 😉

    Reply
  5. Patti Lacy

    Your writing transcends genre classification. This was downright hysterical!!!

    No matter how low our budget goes, chocolate will abound during the second month of February. Hey, I got quite a deal on those new Dove nuggets, dark chocolate w. peanut butter, at Tar-get’. SOOOOO great.

    Patti

    Reply
  6. robinaltman

    Now that’s a nice relaxing Valentine’s Day! Ha!

    We have no plans for Valentine’s Day. That’s the ultimate budget.

    Reply
  7. Cathy

    Too funny! VD is the 14th and our anniversary is the 18th, so we try to do one meal out if we can that covers both. Usually we forget the VD card and just do the Anniverary.

    Reply
  8. Jill

    I always laugh at the media’s attempts to show us life on a budget. Last night my husband and I ran out to buy birthday presents for one of the kids. We decided to stop and get a bite to eat. Since we are on a budget, we can’t go out again for Valentine’s Day, so we made last night our Valentine’s Day meal. I think we were both relieved to “knock that one off the to-do list” in advance. Ahhh the romance of it all!

    Reply
  9. Debra

    This is pretty much the way it was at our house when the kids were growing up. Last year my hubby totally forgot VD so I said it was cancelled forever more. He then went to the drug store the next day and bought up a ten year supply of cards at 50% off. ( that VD up there doesn’t look to good does it?) 🙂

    Reply

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