fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Carnation tarnation

Ah, the smell of See's candy in the air! Must be Valentine's Day soon.

Jack is in middle school ~ the new kid in school ~ and at the age, when he could really use the excuse of Valentine's Day to hand out Valentines to, you know, everybody. But, hey, now Valentine's Day is for real, right? And you know what comes on Monday: Some really cool kids will walk into homeroom clutching dozens of fundraising carnations, each with a card attached. Those kids are so smug. They already know who will get carnations and who will not. They'll call out the recipients' names and, one by one, march the blooms plucked not 48 hours earlier from their South American DDT and methly-bromide laden greenhouses to their blushing recipients. DDT? No matter: Bring on the carcinogens. Just one. Please just one little one for me. As the dozens of carnations become just a hand full, then three, then two, you try to absorb yourself in twisting back the wire poking out of your spiral notebook or pulling the thread on your sleeve or doodling with ballpoint on your jeans leg...anything, anything but those horrid carnations as they are marched down between the desks.  As if middle school weren't tough enough. I know I hated sitting there in homeroom while the flowers were handed out. Oh, yes, my friends (girls), though we each reviled the practice, we partook in an act of solidarity, an unspoken pact, each buying each other a pink "friendship" carnation. The act of purchasing of which, it can be mentioned, was in itself a test of true friendship: (deep breath) "Hi Student Counil Member/Cheerleader/Volleyball Captain who lives just five houses away and who used go go trick-or-treating with me and played Barbies with me and who has at least three classes with me and who copies off my tests all the time, but who still doesn't seem to recognize me (fine with me), please just take this dollar to fundraise for the extremely beneficial cause of cheerleading camp and give me that card to fill out. Okay? Give me the card and that really weird little game you played with your Barbies will remain our little secret, okay? And that thing where you'd walk around with tennis balls in your training bra? My lips are sealed. Take the dollar, give me the card and you can file back into that flock of letterman jackets and feathered hair and Lip Smackers and Reebok aerobics shoes and leg warmers and upturned polo shirt collars I'll go back to my library carroll and world order will be restored. And don't read the card. It's for my friend you don't like, because she beat you up in fifth grade and she, too, knows about the tennis balls."   

But nary a red "love" carnation in all the years of middle and high school would find me. And then, the bell would ring and you would walk out into the hall and it seemed like every other girl in the school was a walking Rose Bowl parade float. 

Anyway, for Anna, Valentine's is still awesome. It's about love for everybody in your class.

And fifteen? That's not too many. Let's make 15 little carnation-y fabric hair clips for the all girls in your class.

"Roses are red
Violets are blue
We made this pretty hair posie
Just for you!"

Corny? Sure, but we'll go with it.

If you are so inclined, the tutorial can be found here.

The boys will get Hoppy Valentine's origami frogs. Because they're boys. And after so much assembly line work, I couldn't think of anything original.

Speaking of See's Candy and speaking of loyal friends and speaking of assembly lines...the See's candy kitchen is where Lucy and Vivian practiced this famous, no, historic bit of television. You know the one. C'mon, watch it again!


Lola Nova said...

As it is Kindy, the first year in a school, I have decided it's wise not to set the bar too high. I have 5 more years at this elementary to become the most awesome school mom ever. We decided to support one of our local artists and buy up the (slightly irregular) v-day cards made on an 80 year old letterpress - that he was practically giving away.

I was home-schooled my last 3 years of high school so I only had to suffer through a couple of years of carnation humiliation. I did have a job at a local frozen yogurt hub, and we were a popular destination for the highs-choolers up the road. I have a very poignant memory of a young man from that school bringing me one of the school roses to me at work. His name was Chad, he had a mohawk and wore eyeliner and was drop dead gorgeous. I remember being at first thrilled, for it was the only "red" flower I had ever received. 20 minutes later I also remember thinking, 'So...what do I do now?' I think I must've turned up Husker Du and danced a little bit.

willow and moo said...

Ugh, I don't think I ever got a bloody carnation.

Nothing like that goes on at my kids' school even in high school. Thankfully!

Happy Valentines to you!

willow and moo said...

I'm tired after vacuuming the house. I also meant to say that See's always remind me of California. I always see the little stands in the airport.

There used to be a See's shop in the Houston Galleria, and I remember buying their Pops.

Jen said...

Ah, the dreaded middle and high-school years! I don't remember ever getting a carnation, though I suppose I may have. My oldest is in 5th grade and this is probably her last year of giving valentines, so we once again are doing the handmade ones - stickers, stamps, punches and colored paper heart doilies. I'm sure she'll wish she was still doing this next year when she gets to middle school, as we're moving across the country and she'll be REALLY new.

The middle child is in pre-school but their class is having a party, too, and she enthusiastically made valentines with me. "I LOVE the glittery hearts!!!" she said, with a voice reminiscent of the unicorn-loving little girl in the movie "Despicable Me". And, as the class mom in charge of baked goods we're spending today baking cookies for the party. It seems like work, but I really do love doing these things. Now if only I had the extra time to not have to rush...

princesstomato said...

Hi Nancy!!

princesstomato said...


nic said...

oh, the heartache of middle school. (my oldest is just that age, and some days i'm screaming to pinch hit for him so he can sit out this week's round of fresh torture.)

on a cheerier note, anna's hair clips and frogs are perfection. i'll bet everyone wheedles and fights to get into the same class as your gal every year. :)

(and also? thank you for your kindness to me, for your affirmation and belief. you're a balm to the raw places of this mama's heart.)

{Nic Hildebrandt} luzia pimpinella said...

oh my...

to be honest...(i hope you don't mind me saying this straight)... at this moment i am glad to be german and to be happily ignoring valentines day! ;o)


p.s. hope to see you soon (for real)... just booked some flights two days ago... yay!

{Nic Hildebrandt} luzia pimpinella said...

... although i LOVED to received one of the hair clips! ;o)

Sew Pretty Dresses said...

I had forgotten about those carnations! I think my sister always covered me just in case. Isn't that a hoot!?

I am loving the barrettes AND the I Love Lucy! You have me on a Lucy You Tube binge now! One of my all time favorite shows.


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