Valentine's Comes To Rite Aid!

Holy Cupid, Valentine's Day is tomorrow?! I've never felt more rushed to present a series of photos I took at my local Rite Aid, as I do right now!

Love means different things to different people. To some, it is a comforting emotion felt towards another person. To others, it's a ticket to "50 Shades of Gray". And to both of those groups, it usually also means picking up whatever garbage we find at the closest big-chain pharmacy. 

So here's a list of all that stuff that corporate America thinks your loved one wants to receive for Valentine's Day, that I found in Rite Aid:

Some things never change. It's comforting to know that these boxes of 32 paper Valentine's Day cards, meant to give a kid enough to give one to his entire class, are still around. And they still come with a special, larger "Teacher's Card". Outside of Mrs. Valentino (no foolin', that was her name), I never liked any of my grade-school teachers enough to give them a Valentine, let alone a special extra-large one. I wonder if I caved and gave it to my teacher's anyway? That sounds like the "must-please-everyone" type of kid I was.

Sounds more like a threat. Especially since it's not a finished sentence. "Wish I'd WHAT?!"

If you've ever really paid attention to the end of "It's A Christmas, Charlie Brown!", then the set on the left should come as no surprise. However, I was SHOCKED that puppies were so religious. "I'm glad god made us friends" is an exceptionally awkward message, especially when, in a few years, that "friend" steals your boyfriend. Confronting Stephanie about it, she whips out this card, given years ago, and you have to relent because this was all part of god's plan. Be VERY careful who you give these to.

This is the back of the god cards. I show it to point out that these boxes come with TWO teacher cards. One for your regular, secular teacher and one for your CCD class nun? Or is one of the larger ones already pre-filled-out to Jesus?

This picture is confusing, because it looks a lot like the previous picture, but this one has a different box in the middle. (It's the worst "spot the differences" game of all time.) My original plan was to blur out the boxes on the side, to highlight the one in the middle, but when I realized time was running out to get this up in time for V-Day, I quickly imported them all into Blogger, without doing that. Excuses make for interesting blog posts, right?

ANYWAY! Just keep staring at the paper valentine "dog tags".
"You know what kids love? Dog Tags! You know what else? Spooky things!"
"What holidays are coming up?"
"Valentine's Day."
"Hmmm... That's not perfect, but this is too good to wait on! What if a competitor thinks it up, before we're ready to go with this for Halloween?!"

The only other thing I will say is "Fang Time".

OK, the only other one last thing I'll say is: It only includes 16! For some of us, that would have been more than enough to cover our short list of friends. But for others, that wouldn't be enough to cover an entire class. Your child's first experience with "in" and "out" crowds will start with these paper V-Day dog tags. Never saw that coming, did you?

Shown to contrast the super-cook dog tags are these boring book marks. Think hard enough about it and ANY of these paper cards can be book marks, but you spent the extra money buying ones that were expressly for this purpose, so that everyone will know your kid reads a lot. Classrooms bullies LOVE the kid who's always reading.

I like the idea of Valentine's Day pencils, if only because I was the kid who never had a sharpened #2 when it was called for. What a day it would have been when teach was like, "OK, class, it's now time to take our Valentine's Day Exam!" And I'd be like, "SCORE!" And the teach would be like, "How many times do I have to tell you, Jeff, that you'll never amount to anything?!" (True story!) Yeah, had I had a sharpened #2, school would've been so much better. (Of course, there's no indication on these about what lead they use, so they might not have worked on the SCANTRON forms, anyway. Grade school is hard.)

These bears are gross. Misshapen and covered in tiny craters. Craters caused by a rare bear pox, which is why they are quarantined in this globe. The glitter is medicinal. Remember to get your bears vaccinated, people!

I won't have long paragraphs under every photo in this series, so don't worry.

I know what I'm going to be finding a LOT of, at yard sales, this summer!

Can you see me? Because I can see you! (PUT PANTS ON, GARY! GROSS!)

Frogs. Because: Valentine's Day.

That is one giant bear. costs about $70, too, if memory serves. Seeing giant animals like this only makes me imagine them out by the trash, in the rain, after all love has faded. The upside, I suppose, is that discarded giant stuffed animals function in the same way artificial reefs do: To give native wildlife a place of shelter. So many 5-foot stuffed bears are now how to thriving roach / rat populations.

When did monkey's become a Valentine's Day animal? I remember that being the case in the 80s, so this is nothing new. I dunno, it just always boggled my mind. I totally get the boa, though.

Of all the items in Rite Aid, this is the one that screams "Got this on the way home! I love you!" the most. A crumby 4" teddy bear (did you see the 5-foot one, which was just down the aisle?!) and what looks like 4-7 Sweet Hearts. I do love those sweet hearts, though. Half credit.

What's Valentine's Day without a little candy! Here are my favorite Nirvana-inspired heart-shaped boxes:



This one feels like portabella mushroom gills. My lovely wife questioned if it came with an actual key. One was not in evidence, and my curiosity over Valentine's Day candy only went so far. I walked on by, leaving the mystery unsolved.

You can't tell, but these are gigantic.

Go to hell, marketing team at Whitman's. Go. To. Hell.

It's fun to imagine that Whitman's has offered this box for over 50 years. "You're the rotary dial on my heart!"


Redneck Chic, or is this somehow zombie-related? See, that's the best thing about modern art: So many ways to interpret it! A+

Well, I've run out of time on my lunch break and I won't have time to complete this, before V-Day is here. I'll leave the rest of the photos, below, in the post, so you can imagine what I might have said about them. Aw, man, it would've been SO FUNNY! Disappointing.

hey, maybe my grade school teacher was right?!

Note the phrase "milkY and chocolatY", because neither of those ingredients are in this. We all know exactly what these taste like: A melted brown crayon.

I really enjoy our time together. Will you be my Valentine?

I can be followed on Twitter @sommerjam DO IT!

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