OFF MESSAGE: My Spongy Valentine

Readers: What moves me other than trying to give some trust back to a country consumed by catastrophizing, especially when it comes to our kids?

Light verse.

Yes, had I not become “America’s Worst Mom,” my other pursuit may have won out. After all, I got my job at The New York Daily News by bombarding the editor with funny poems, and even wrote my American Intellectual History final in rhyme. So today, please indulge me as I shift focus and give you my:


As Cupid’s favorite day draws near

It’s time to give full-throated cheer

Not just to all the gals and guys

With whom we share our love (and fries)

But also to those other things

That buoy the soul like water wings.

Things so everyday-ish they

Get overlooked. But not today!

Today we frankly celebrate

The stuff we overlook that’s great:

Stuff like sponges when they’re new

That don’t yet smell like old fondue

Made in someone’s sweaty shoe

(That make your hands smell like it, too.)

To all ye sponges not yet gross:

A toast to virgin cellulose!


And let us also give full props

To all our favorite dollar shops

Filled with cards, and cans of fish,

And puzzle books, and licorice,

And napkins and the spatulas

You find in homes of batchulas

Plus the toys worth more than gold

To anyone who’s four years old.

We may be down, but at those stores

We’re living like Louis Quatorze!


Time now, to also offer thanks

To a thigh’s best friend: her Spanx.

And while we’re at it, let’s thank, too,

Whoever gave us Super Glue

And its cousin, twice-removed

The Post-It Note. Can’t be improved.

And Zip-Loc bags — we love you, ‘natch.

And toothpicks with the floss attached.

Also getting thanks muchachas?

Small hotels for cucarachas.


On this day of love and hearts

We hail the happy Pop of Tarts

Whether frosted or just plain

They fill the role of pink champage

To kids whose lives are one long wait

Between the Pop-Tarts that they ate.

(And some of us at 63

May share that same affinity.)


Finally, let us kiss through air

That humble thing we call The Chair

The seat of pow’r! The people’s throne!

Allowing us to work, un-prone.

Whether hard or downright mushy

Thanks from our collective tushy.


You daily items, full of grace

Make our world a better place.

Plastic, frosted, sticky, plain,

Cheap or crunchy, cute, mundane

To you we say: “I’m glad your mine!

And will you be my Valentine?”


2 Responses to OFF MESSAGE: My Spongy Valentine

  1. Kenny M Felder February 12, 2023 at 2:39 pm #

    You have so many talents! I still think fondly about your Little Thumber Boy.

  2. James Bordonaro February 13, 2023 at 1:52 pm #

    Lenore, you crack me up!!! How did you know I shop at Dollar Tree! Let me at the cheap shades and eyeglasses to your list. Am in agreement with all the items you mentioned except floss toothpicks (see them on the ground all too frequently). Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!