I wake up to the sound of my alarm at 6:15 a.m. and grudgingly roll over to hit snooze. I check the time on my phone and notice today’s date; it’s February 14, which means it’s Valentine’s Day. I rush to the bathroom to complete my morning routine and quickly rush back to my room to find the usual “good morning” text from my boy lighting up my phone screen. I smile, but then realize that he forgot that it was Valentine’s Day; usually that type of thing wouldn’t bug me, but for some reason it did. Irritated, I decided to get on my with my day.
Once I make sure my family is up, I hop into my truck to drive to my bus stop, and as soon as I get there, I realize that I completely forgot that we had free dress; what an amazing start to my day. I take my usual seat on the bus and put in my earbuds and shuffle one of my many playlists. Halfway through the bus ride, my phone lights up once again; he finally remembered that it’s Valentine’s Day. I roll my eyes and wish him a happy Valentine’s Day back, trying to conceal my frustration. He’s just another boy who doesn’t realize that it’s the little things that make girls happy.
As soon as I get to school, I can feel the weight of the holiday crash into me. Flashes of red, pink and white zoom by as girls in free dress walk across the parking lot to get to their first class. By the time I make it to where the Parent’s Guild is handing out free candy during break, they are already all out of candy bags! The peak of my day is joining my mother and little sister for an after-school snack at McDonald’s. I get the chicken tenders, which I enjoy, even though I am short a packet of Spicy Buffalo sauce.
Later that night, my boy at his soccer game, I stay home and have a nice family dinner with little heart-shaped candies spread around the table by my mother to make our meal seem more festive and to make me feel a little less lonely.
In some ways, the candy made me feel better. In some ways, it made me feel worse.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has at least one traumatic memory of Valentine’s Day from their childhood. Whether it be not receiving any valentines from your classmates or finding out that your third grade crush was in love with your best friend, everyone remembers something upsetting about Valentine’s Day.
In eighth grade, my crush and I admitted that we liked each other, so we decided to do something a little special. I ended up getting my crush a heart-shaped Mrs. Field’s cookie, and he got me a big See’s chocolate. Our friends then forced us to sit together at lunch; it was absolutely the most awkward lunch of my life. We barely looked at each other and spoke maybe three words for the whole hour. Every now and then, he would bump his elbow into mine and I would give him a look that said, “What are you doing? Stop it, that’s not cute or funny.” His response was to retreat back into his shell. Perhaps sensing an opportunity, my best friend started to flirt with my valentine. Later, she explained that she thought that by being flirty, she would ease the tension.
So what’s the point in celebrating this hallmark holiday?
The whole purpose of Valentine’s Day is to step up and do something nice and romantic for your partner. Couples shouldn’t just focus on doing something special for each other on one day of the year, though; they should be doing that every day.
Ironically enough though, my boy ended up being my valentine. Even though we celebrated Valentine’s Day a day late, it was a surprisingly nice date. I guess that Valentine’s Day can be rather enjoyable when you spend it with someone who you really care about. Being able to sit there and enjoy someone else’s presence without being bombarded by “Happy Valentine’s Day” makes this holiday a little more tolerable.