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The Evolution of Valentines Day

As the radio stations begin to play the same shuffle of slow ballads, and your TV is overtaken by jewelry store advertisements, Cupid readies his bow and arrow, preparing to take aim at hearts this February 14th. Inside Beat is celebrating the holiday with a little storytelling — let's take a look at how Valentine’s Day is redefined throughout the years.

The Scene: Middle School
Cue the nostalgia of the “good old days,” when Valentine’s Day meant propping a tricked-out, brown paper bag on your school desk and waiting with anticipation to see the card your crush selected just for you. Sure, he or she was also required to give everyone else in the class a card as well, but did he or she give everyone else a valentine with smiling, dancing hearts declaring “You’re sweet, Valentine?” In retrospect, probably, but in your love-fueled sugar kick, you can’t help but feel giddy. It seems that all of the days spent plucking petals off of flowers, asking, “does he love me, does he love me not?” finally paid off. It’s inevitable, the two of you are obviously going to get married.

The Scene: High School
Much to your mother’s relief, gone is the stress of choosing a cool, unique boxed set of 30 valentines to distribute to your classmates. You’re too old for valentines now, and would probably be laughed right out of homeroom if you dared to show up with even one for that special someone. Walking down the hallway, you can’t help but notice that just about every girl you see incorporated even the slightest bit of pink or red into her outfit that day. As you make your way to gym class, you flash a coy smile at the special someone who coincidentally happens to be standing by his/her locker, and realize that this could be the historical day in which you receive your first kiss. Good thing you packed gum and breath mints.

The Scene: College
For some (okay, maybe most considering the rarity of college relationships) February 14th is another day to bide time, waiting for the real and consistently overshadowed holiday, February 15th, to dawn. Otherwise known as the grand, chocolate-covered, cherry spangled day in which all unsold Valentine’s Day chocolate is adorned with a “75% off” sale sticker, the superiority of the 15th is primarily celebrated by singles, and chocolate fiends alike. Viva la broke college student budget.

For others, Valentine’s Day is synonymous with “Judgment Day,” when the romanticized, confusing characteristic of college hookups might possibly be demystified, or at least blamed on Cupid. You’ve been wondering all month long: is he or she bae? Now, at last on this one day, the truth about that cute guy or girl might be revealed. Did he or she really want the lecture notes, or was it simply a carefully crafted ploy to snag your email address, and later, your heart? Who knows, but it certainly can’t hurt to keep hitting the refresh button in your inbox. You know, just in case an email full of sweet nothing’s happens to appear. 

While Inside Beat cannot yet predict the ways in which Valentine’s Day will inevitably change as the years continue to pass, we note that there is always novelty in the unknown, and hope your Valentine’s Day is as chocolate filled and memorable (or unmemorable) as you so desire.

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