Why I like Valentines Day And Other Thoughts On Lighter Fluid

List of Valentines Gifts I have received over the years:
  • One gallon drum of lighter fluid
  • One pair of purple Japanese fighting fish (OH, THE IRONY)
  • One rumpled lunch bag of stolen batteries, size C
  • Two second-hand corsages taken from a nursing home cafeteria
  • Three pairs of red satin banana hammocks, shaped like roses, thoughtfully purchased from the lotto counter at the all-night 7-11.
*Note: Banana hammock is slang for a certain kind of mens underpants. They are, apparently, easy to mistake for ladies underpants, especially when balled up like roses and thoughtfully purchased from the lotto counter at the all-night 7-11.
With this in mind, you can see why I don’t mind being single come Valentines day. Why, with all the banana hammocks and lighter fluid laying around the house, who needs romance?
*Semi-Related Odd Fact: If you have pesky adhesive residue stuck to, say, a glass knick-knack or car bumper, you can swab it with lighter fluid and set it one fire. The crud will burn clean off. No more pesky residue! Just make sure someone stands by with a fire extinguisher. Safety first. This is a great way for a couple to spend a quiet, romantic evening at home.  
Despite my personal history with Valentines Day, I do miss the idea of valentines. Real valentines. You know—beautiful little notes and cards expressing beautiful little thoughts, perfectly packaged in tiny red envelopes.
A few years ago, some single (and not-so-single) friends and I realized that we were never going to be on the receiving end of real valentines, so, we just started making the for ourselves. Cards, that is. We started swapping handmade valentines.

Then last year I expended the circle. I invited all of you to join in the valentine swap and send me your addresses. In the end, 73 people participated! That’s 73 people who sent and received three Valentines to/from total strangers. That’s 219 lovely, handmade valentines bouncing all over the globe. Huzzah!
I put myself in the mix too. Look at this tricked out Alice in Wonderland style valentine I got from Lacey in Vancouver, BC. (Citizens of Canada: your girl done good!)
As if the cover (top image) wasn’t amazing enough, it contained a series of 3 smaller and smaller valentines. The final note is so teensy, I could barely make out the words. It was pinned up in my studio until I moved, and now it’s pinned up at work. It puts a smile on my face every time I see it. And way, way better than any bannana hammock, that’s for Hell Sure.
Now that I have presented you with Lacey’s act of wonder, I’m hoping y’all will put your doily trimmed thinking cap on and consider sending out some Valentines of your own. Maybe you already know someone who deserves a special card. Even better if you don’t because I’m going to orchestrate another swap! Stay tuned. Just trying to figure out the logistics before I start taking names. Details to follow…


  1. Vixie says

    Can’t wait to join in the swap!

  2. Shannon Holmes says

    Sweet! Count me in. I really enjoyed reading this!

  3. Hannah Dolan says

    Count me in! How exiting

  4. Tonya Kaushik says

    Whee! I’d love to participate. Sounds like fun. =)

  5. tracylee says

    ooh! fun! I’m totally on board.

  6. says

    I’d love to participate again! I had tons of fun making mine last year, and I received some lovely ones, too.

  7. nutbirds says

    Were all of those presents from the Man of Fifty Pair of Black Socks? I remember buying Valentines books in the early fifties. You had to cut them out. Some of them had slits to add little bouquets of flowers or flapping parts. I loved them.

  8. Michelle L. says

    Hahahhaaaa! So many romantic men in the world – and none of them have ever given either of us a proper valentine! Actually, last year around this time, I was joking with a server at my favorite restaurant that my husband has never once in 20+ years given me a valentine. When we came in for lunch on V Day, the server had bought me a chocolate rose. I am bringing him flowers this year, and my husband can watch as we celebrate without him.

  9. April says

    Sounds like so much fun!

  10. Melissa Heslop says

    OH My I would sooo love to participate! I remember making the cute little Valentine boxes for school! And the excitement of having to wait til the actual day to open up the little cards….ah what fond memories!

  11. Lynne says

    ready for the swap!! valentine mailbox in the classroom!!! red and pink construction paper, doilies, scissors, crayons and glue on an oil-cloth-covered kitchen table!! heart-shaped candy boxes with ever-so-glamorous plastic flowers!! shiny red cupids floating across the classroom windows!! candy conversation hearts!!! sigh.

  12. Rose says

    If it weren’t for 7-11 I’d probably would be divorced years ago! Hubs was a busy young Dad of three little boys and it was the only store open when he remembered the big day. What did I get you ask? One past-due single rose and a bottle of my favourite bubbly at the time….Pepsi!

  13. Evalandareth says

    So excited! Im gonna sign up!

  14. says

    How cute! (The Valentines, not your list of gifts, lol)

  15. PeachesFreund says

    Wahoo! Swine themed valentines are the best 🙂

  16. PeachesFreund says

    Haha! Lucky server! I’ll bet you are a fun customer 🙂

  17. PeachesFreund says

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Rebekah. I’m hoping this year will be equally as great!

  18. PeachesFreund says

    Some were from Black Socks, but not all. I know how to pick a ’em! Flocked vintage Valentines are the best if you ask me. No idea why they aren’t in fashion anymore. Probably too expensive for Hallmark to make.

  19. Ineke says

    Yay, I was just wondering the other day whether you’d do the swap again! It was so much fun last year, I really look forward to it. Lacey’s valentine is adorable!

  20. Jamie Seibert says

    oh I am so down to participate in the swap this year!! lol your list of past gifts is pretty amazing. i really think only you could have such a list 😉


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