The Old Valentine’s Day Dilemma

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - February 15, 2006
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I’m always a bit conflicted about Valentine’s Day.

I love receiving (and giving!) chocolate and flowers, while at the same time being acutely aware of the manufactured sentiments causing millions of otherwise sensible Americans to spend lots and lots of money.

But what the heck, a day celebrating hearts and flowers and romance isn’t all that outlandish. So what if the cards are sappy and the roses outrageously expensive? You have options: a picnic instead of a fancy dinner, tulips instead of roses.

You could go for the symbolism of one perfect red rose. But guys, know your partner. Make sure your girl appreciates a simple yet heartfelt gesture. I still remember a girlfriend long ago describing her outrage when her boyfriend went the single rose route. She went ballistic, chasing him down the hallway of her condo and flinging the blossom at him just as the unhappy man dodged into the elevator. Cheapskate, she fumed. Clearly, for this woman it was the bucks, not the thought, that counted.

Be creative, but don’t get goofy. Funkiest gift I ever received was a leather baseball cap. I never did figure that one out.

Sweetest gift ever received? The hand made card from our son when he was in second grade. “Dear Mom,” he wrote in his shaky, little-boy scrawl, “I love you. I wish I could stay with you forever.”

Now both he and Dad are a little more sophisticated and pretty smart, too. They know if they get mom some really, really great chocolate she’ll be sublimely happy.

And she’ll share.

three star

Does it seem odd to you that the new weighted funding formula for schools is causing so much pain and fear?

The weighted formula is supposed to even the playing field, providing more money to schools with certain high-need student populations. That makes sense on paper, but the reality is that many of the smaller, rural schools are seeing huge losses they can ill afford. Something’s not right when we hear about schools having to give up teachers and librarians and essential support staff because their budgets have been slashed.

The answer isn’t, obviously, to give up on the formula. Its intent is good and it makes sense to redistribute funds fairly throughout the system.

But something’s not right. The formula needs serious tweaking. Lawmakers should recognize that and fix it this session.

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