How Valentine’s Day Has Evolved Since Youth

Do you remember the days of going to the drug store with your mom to pick out a box of Valentine’s Day cards to hand out to your classmates? I sure do. Every year I would switch off between Snoopy or Hello Kitty. I would carefully select which cards went to who; the cutest boy in class would inevitably the most romantic card (well, as romantic as children’s Valentine’s Day cards get), while the people I didn’t like would get the most generic one in the box.

Now, as I have reached adulthood, Valentine’s Day is more about stocking up on chocolate body sauce and the sexiest get-up from Victoria’s Secret (if you have a significant other) or being a bitter single broad (if you are single). When did Valentine’s Day change so drastically from being about showing people love to being about sex or hate?

I, for one, am single. I haven’t had a “real” Valentine since 7th grade. That was back in the day of having our parents drive us to the movies or what have you, but it was still the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had— well, tied with that one Valentine’s Day when my dad sent me a bouquet of roses, a hundred dollars, and a Jessica Simpson CD. Nevertheless, it was a great day.

What made that 7th grade Valentine’s Day so special was that my boyfriend and I were still at a stage of innocence, where it was simply a day about love. Yeah, we made out behind the gym at the local high school basketball game, but considering he was the sweetest guy I’ve ever been with, I didn’t have to worry about “Oh, is he not going to text me back tomorrow?” or  “Does he think that other girl is hotter than me?????” It was before the age when love turned into a game.

The unique thing, though, is that even though it has been five years since we were “together”, we still talk all the time and hold a mutual love for one another. I think that may be the main reason I am not resentful about not having a particular Valentine. If you have people in your life that you love and love you back, it doesn’t matter if on one night in February you don’t have a romantic dinner set up (I mean, come on, all the good restaurants are going to be disgustingly jam packed anyways)! So, regardless of what your plans are this Valentine’s Day, if you are surrounded by people that you love all year round, you should consider yourself lucky.

I will most likely be in front of the TV this Valentine’s Day with a jar full of Nutella, watching a mushy-gushy romantic comedy. (And for the record, I still get Hello Kitty cards and give them to my friends—the only difference now is I have to mail them around the country because we’re all at different colleges). I hope that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, but more than that I hope you have a year filled with love.

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