A Simpler Valentine’s Day
Since I knew this post would fall on Valentine’s Day, I naturally had two options: I could either acknowledge the holiday or not. Considering that I’ve already mentioned the dreaded V-Day within the first sentence, I bet you can guess where this post is going.
It’s pretty easy to take the position of, “Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a commercialized holiday designed to rake in profit for greeting card companies,” or, “I don’t need one specific day to tell people that I love them,” or even, “All this holiday does is remind single people that they’re going to live without human affection forever and depend on their two dozen cats.” I honestly don’t think that I can completely disagree with any of the aforementioned viewpoints, but at the same time, I don’t want to be “that person” and bitterly rain on the parade of all those who can’t get enough of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and bouquets of pink roses. Perhaps a part of you—maybe just the teeniest tiniest bit, hiding somewhere behind your gall bladder—appreciates the sappiness of Valentine’s Day and thinks, “Hey, partaking in this dumb holiday might be fun.” However, I’d venture to guess that soon after this sentiment, you realize that celebrating Valentine’s Day goes against a number of self-respecting standards that you’ve created for yourself, and thus you begin the cycle of Valentine’s Day love-hate once more. More likely, I’m just projecting all of this nonsense onto you and blowing this whole holiday out of proportion.
Basically, I’m under the impression that Valentine’s Day would seem a whole lot less complicated if we could return to the way we celebrated it in elementary school. Back in those simpler days, everyone bought silly cartoon valentines for every member of their class; sometimes, the kids with overachieving parents would attach candy to the cards, too (I would, just to put that out there). The big box of premade valentines available at Walgreens contained a card hierarchy of sorts that would help you determine, after much deliberation, which cards to hand out to which classmates. For example, from the Pokémon-themed valentine kit, your best friends received the sought-after Charmanders, general acquaintanes received the Pikachus, and the people who you really couldn’t stand were stuck with the Weedles—Brianna cut in front of you in the lunch line and stole the last chocolate milk? Pff, she could wave goodbye to the hope of getting any valentine except for the reject ones (if you have a thing for Weedle, I apologize, but let’s be honest, he definitely cannot even compete with Charmander. If you have no idea what the heck I’m talking about because your childhood severely lacked Pokémon, I apologize further).
Valentine’s Day would arrive and so would the class party—streamers hung from the ceiling, paper hearts donned the walls, the teacher took care of the whole shebang. Your seat would boast your personal valentine shoe box, decorated with sparkly wrapping paper and complete with a slit cut out of the top, in which the other students would conveniently place the valentines they had pre-selected for each individual. You’d tour the room with your little stack of cards, trying not to catch the eye of your crush when you approached his or her shoe box with the one valentine to which you’d devoted the utmost effot. When everyone returned to their desks to open their shoe boxes and enjoy the loot they’d received, you’d try to play it cool and be smooth, but in truth, you were eagerly searching for the card from your sweetheart to analyze it extensively for some sort of hidden meaning. It was a Toy Story valentine, featuring a picture of Woody and Buzz Lightyear; did this mean that your crush only saw you as a good friend, or as someting more? The naive love, the decorations, the candy—it was all so exhilarating.
Like every other aspect of adolescent life, Valentine’s Day was simple—nothing more than an excuse to eat some candy and hand out a bunch of fantastically nerdy valentines to your friends, such as the ones I’ve provided below.
I think that pretty much sums up my take on Valentine’s Day as of right now. Glad we had this talk.