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Post-Valentine’s Day Thoughts

Sara Moriarty, Opinion Editor

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I never really thought about Valentine’s Day before. It was always just another day, and I became accustomed to simply forgetting about it. Not even heart-shaped chocolates on the 14th of February would make me think about Valentine’s Day, although this may just be because my dad likes to stash chocolates around the kitchen year-round.

But, like many female young adults, I grew to have problems with the idea of Valentine’s Day, no matter what my relationship status is like (it has usually been ‘single.’)

Valentine’s Day is a day of immense pressure and a day of decisions.

Some girls who usually don’t appreciate super cheesy heart balloons or bouquets of flowers might try their very hardest to go against the frivolities and commercialist tendencies of the fourteenth.

However, despite their pleas to significant others to ignore the ‘I love you’ teddy bears in CVS and the idea of rose-petal laden beds, some of these very same anti-commercialism girls might find themselves disappointed that their lovers actually listened to them and came home with nothing, not even a card.

Many girls might, in the back of their mind, hope that their boyfriend or “guy they’re seeing” will succumb to their love for them and/or to the pressures of society. These girls secretly hope for a teddy bear or a balloon, or even just a card- any small gesture to show that the day is not completely forgotten and that they are special to their boyfriends/significant others/guy they are kind of -sort of unofficially dating.

It is difficult to ignore a day when men are societally expected to show their love with extra-romantic drug-store candy gestures, even when one argues that love and appreciation for one another should be shown every day.

I thought I would be one of those girls who would grow up to shun commercialist tendencies of Valentine’s Day and wait for the chocolate to go on sale the day after. Being very independent, and very much in an all-girls Catholic High school where there weren’t many cute boys to gawk at, I was usually single on Valentines Day. There have been times when I had the option to have a valentine, but in the past I did not take them, choosing instead to continually forget that Valentine’s Day even existed.

But this year was just a little bit different. I had a valentine. I had a valentine who took me to different places in New York City, bought me an eight dollar Belgian waffle, and gave me a bunch of frozen snickers bars at the end of the night instead of a heart-shaped box of chocolate. The whole ordeal was a little bit sappy and a little bit cheesy and I enjoyed it very much. Even so, I somehow still had trouble acknowledging that it was Valentine’s Day. This trouble was unintentional.

I still couldn’t escape my former tendencies of forgetting what day it was. At one point in the night, I looked up at the Empire State Building and asked why it was lit up pink. “Is it for breast cancer awareness? But wait, that’s not this month….”

A few moments later I realized that it was indeed Valentine’s Day, I was in the city with a boy who had just a few hours prior asked me to be his valentine, and here I was still wondering why the Empire State Building was pink.

It was just a Friday in my mind; I had apparently trained myself far too well in high school to ignore all signs of Valentine’s Day.  I never was and never will be one of those people who watches sappy movies, cries, and eat take-out alone in an apartment just because it is a day of heart-filled commercialism.

That being said, I have a new appreciation for the day as a day that has the potential to be filled with frozen snickers bars, really good waffles, and really good friends—no matter what state my love life is in.

If I’m lucky, the day will also be filled with someone who will take me out, acknowledge the existence of February 14 with me, and remind me why it persists as a holiday, even among the skeptical and those who dislike the commercialism and pressure of the day—in other words, if I’m lucky, I’ll have a valentine.

But if I’m not so lucky, I still have learned that it is ok to acknowledge the existence of Valentine’s Day and make the most of it, taking it as an excuse to eat chocolate with good friends.

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