An honest single analysis of Valentine’s Day

Bella Coulter , Staff Writer

By Bella Coulter

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and I’m going to be honest― I barely noticed. Valentine’s Day for me has been quite the rollercoaster of emotions throughout my life. I’ve gone from staying up late February 13th deep in prayer for that one boy to make a move to total indifference of the occasion. I’ve come full circle and I couldn’t care less.

My awareness of the holiday began in elementary school, but back then it was more of a communal holiday rather than one for your significant other. Everyone in the class brought something small for everyone (mainly because it was required; if you didn’t have something for everyone, don’t bother bringing anything at all), and if they were really cool, they would give out goody bags with multiple pieces of candy and stake their claim as the most popular kid for the day. It wasn’t until fifth grade that it actually got real.

In fifth grade, there was a Spring dance. It was the same dance that had been held for years before, but in fifth grade people started to view it as the social event of the season rather than just an excuse to dance the Cotton Eye Joe in unison with their classmates. Naturally, by February I already had a date, despite the fact that the dance wasn’t until April. Of course, I never spoke to my date (we’ll call him Rick); he and I had been in the same class for second through fourth grade, so it was a safe option considering we actually knew each other, but honestly the point of having a date was not because you knew the person, it was simply the concept of having a date that sent all of our little fifth grade hearts into a frenzy. As a result, he and I had never laid down ground rules for Valentine’s Day, and I was just assuming we weren’t doing anything. After all, the theoretical contract of our our dating only contained the dance with no other frivolous requirements. 

February 14th was coming to a close, and I was on the bus, ready to head home when one of my friends burst onto the bus and handed me something, saying it was from Rick. I took the gift with surprise, delighted to find a chocolate rose and a heart-shaped tin with a chocolate chip cookie inside. I was over the moon.

Clearly, this meant that I now had to get him something and I felt awful for assuming that we weren’t doing anything. I conferenced with all of my closest friends to find out what candy he liked (because of course I didn’t know), and we settled on a Kit Kat bar. I came to school the next day with my gift in hand, but I was too shy to give it to him and I didn’t even know when I was doing to see him since we were in different classes. I gave it to one of my best friends who happened to be in his class to put on his desk before school started. At the end of the day, I pestered her relentlessly about his reaction, what he did with it, if he made an expression; by the end of the interrogation, all I had gotten out of her was that he smiled briefly when he saw it (which honestly might have just been made up by my friend to make me feel better). Despite this very flawed execution of Valentine’s Day, to this day it is the only time I’ve ever had a “significant other” to share it with.

Middle school, after my time with Rick, consisted of what it normally does: awkward exchanges, hideous outfit decisions, and honestly just a whole lot of regret. My love life was no different. I spent the entirety of three years at Plaza Middle School crushing on mediocre boys who I desperately hoped would somehow fall in love with me despite having never spoken a word to them in my life. Thank God none of those relationships ever went anywhere because trust me, none of those boys were exactly winners (not that you could tell me that at the time). I entered high school optimistic that the boys would mature (and get taller), so that hopefully I could have a real relationship.

No such luck. 

I spent the first three years of high school just exchanging gifts with my girlfriends because we’re strong independent women who can buy chocolate for ourselves, thank you very much. Now, this past Valentine’s Day came and I found a new thrill: dipping chocolate-covered strawberries at work for others to buy for their significant others, since I will not be buying any for myself. I guess the thrill of my short-lived fifth grade romance wore off, and I’m left with reality. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to spend Valentine’s Day with someone other than my endless pile of homework, but alas I would rather wait than take on my previous logic and throw myself, allowing anyone who breathes to give me flowers. 

And with that, here’s to another irrelevant Valentine’s Day. I hope all of you that did have someone to celebrate with found a purpose in that day, because I certainly couldn’t.