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Feb 10, 201708:00 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

Be My Realistic Valentine

A “romantic” weeknight with kids

Manny Randazzo King Cake

Valentine’s Day is not a holiday I care about. I like Easter because it means winter is over, and I like Thanksgiving because I like food, and I like other holidays because I get the day off … but Valentine’s Day is one I could seriously take or leave — and honestly, half the time in New Orleans, I get to do just that because it falls during Mardi Gras season and is overshadowed completely.

My husband and I buy each other little gifts throughout the year, but the only thing I think he’s ever given me on Valentine’s Day was a Minecraft card he stole from the ones my stepson was handing out at school. And I get pretty into making valentines for the kids’ classes, but I think the only thing I’ve ever given him was some banana bread with a note that said, “I’m bananas for you!”

I’d love to say that this year, when we’re not yet immersed in Carnival, we’d use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to have a quiet candlelit dinner a deux, but given that it’s a Tuesday night, here’s how I see it going:


*Work all day
*Pick Ruby up from lacrosse practice
*Drive home listening to a litany of fourth grade gossip and who puked in the cafeteria today
*Lug breakfast dishes, my briefcase, my purse, Ruby’s lacrosse bag, Ruby’s lacrosse stick, Ruby’s lacrosse helmet, and Ruby’s backpack into the house
*Robert cooks something delicious for dinner
*The children refuse to eat it
*I eat dinner at the counter while making mac and cheese for the kids because my husband says they should just eat what we cook but I worry because Georgia is barely at 5 percent on the growth chart and I can’t let her go without dinner because I am a giant pushover and an utter failure at discipline
*Quiz Ruby for her science test
*Try to help her with math homework
*Give up and drink (at least) a glass of wine because I hate homework even more now than I did as a kid
*Force Ruby to write two thank you cards for her birthday gifts (her birthday was in December; this is an ongoing process)
*Drink another glass of wine while she laboriously addresses envelopes for her thank you cards and whines at me about life in general
*Allow the girls some screen time, which mostly consists of Robert and me taking turns screaming, “TURN YOUR KINDLE DOWN!” every 45 seconds
*Make the girls take a bath while I make sure they have clean uniforms and snacks for the next day
*Clean the kitchen
*Start a load of laundry
*Get the girls to sleep
*Consider making romantic overtures; decide instead to forgo shaving legs and pass out in my Cookie Monster sweatpants


Maybe we’ll make up for it and celebrate over the weekend. Of course, maybe we’ll just skip it in favor of going to parades all weekend instead. Happy Valentine’s Day Mardi Gras!


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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans


        Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.




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