Due to my voluntary service last Valentine's Day of making deliveries for the local florist as a fundraiser for my eldest daughter's school PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), I was more than familiar with the overindulgent behavior displayed by many of the elementary school parents in our small town.
What may have started as an innocent and loving gesture by a long absent Grandparent or traveling salesman father who was on the road and couldn't see his kids on Valentine's Day, has become an explosion of opulence and indulgence the likes of which even Britney Spears would probably approve of.
Like in most things topical in my life, I choose to remain oblivious and non-opinionated on most matters of controversy, citing my advanced degree in clueless fatherhooding of my two daughters, as well as my status as a Stay-at-home-Dad (better known in my small town as a fish-out-of-water).
However when my Wife went to spend 30-minutes with our 2nd grader at her classes Valentine's Day party and saw the following display of V-day goodies sitting on the school office counter awaiting delivery to ankle biters...
...she came home spitting caustic vitriol all the while questioning the negative effect that "Keeping up with the Jones' " is having on our small town.
Apparently the effect was felt at the parochial school where our youngest attends Pre-K, as the Principal informed my Wife and I that the gymnasium floor was filled with V-day deliveries for the students, the most decadent display of parental affection for their kid manifesting itself as a dozen long stem roses sent to a kindergartener.
Topper of the day came when a classmate/friend of our 8-year old that is suffering from an obesity issue proudly announced that HER parents sent a giant chocolate chip cookie to her in her class.
And while it was only slightly painful explaining to our 2nd grader why she was one of a handful of her classmates NOT to have received a delivered bouquet of flowers, stuffed animals, or a mylar balloon tied to a 6 oz. can of Dr. Pepper, we were able to disseminate from her that the vast majority of her classmates who did receive an in-classroom delivery from their parents, we're bus riders and after school daycare devotees.
To which my Wife murmured almost to herself and almost under her breath, "How much guilt relief does a can of soda and helium balloon buy nowadays?"
Sometimes I think "harsh" is my Wife's middle name.