Valentine’s Day really isn’t all that special

By Katie Landeck

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I have been dating my boyfriend, Justin, for four years, four months and 10 days.  He asked me out after a pep rally my sophomore year of high school, and then proceeded to take me to the football game that night.

That’s who we are: sickeningly classic high school sweet hearts.

We do homework together, attend each other’s family functions, go to the zoo, go to the aquarium, hike and so on. Think old school American couple date, and we have probably done it. If we haven’t done it, it’s probably on our list of things to do.

However, one thing we have never done is celebrate a traditional Valentine’s Day.

In high school, his parents were incredibly strict and he was incredibly forgetful. Our first Valentine’s Day fell on a Thursday and there was no way his parents were going to let him out of the house, and an even smaller chance he would remember to buy me anything.

So, we just said forget it. We didn’t even exchange chocolates.

Despite the next two Valentine’s Days being on weekends, I am pretty sure they passed the same way. Quietly.

Last year was the first time we did anything. Inspired by our new distance – he attends a university in New York – we decided to exchange care packages.

I sent him and his friends Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, chocolates and other Valentine’s Day goodies. In turn, he sent me my own batch of Sweethearts, chocolates and even a necklace delivered exactly on Valentine’s Day.

I was stunned. I thought he would send one of those small boxes of Brach’s Sweethearts, maybe. He, on the other hand, went so far as to get me jewelry.

It was nice, but overall unnecessary and a lot of pressure. So this year, we are toning it down again. We are going to “celebrate” by me driving up to visit him this weekend.

We won’t go out to dinner. We won’t exchange any big gifts, although it would be in his best interest to buy me Brach’s Sweethearts, the kind with banana flavored ones. And there most certainly won’t be long walks on the beach, as it’s cold outside.

And, I am fine with that. Because, let’s face it: Valentine’s Day is pretty meaningless. It doesn’t celebrate any meaningful moments in our relationship such as an anniversary. It’s doesn’t celebrate any particularly meaningful event, such as Christmas or a birthday. It doesn’t make me love him more for that one shining day.

It just happens, like any other day. And, I really don’t understand why on this day we are supposed to be particularly sentimental. Therefore, I have decided not to be.

I will buy him chocolates, mostly because he likes chocolate, on Wednesday, because it is 50 percent off. I might Skype him on Valentine’s Day, depending on his work schedule. I will visit him on this weekend when we will go to the last Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hockey game of the season with all of his friends and watch one of his friends act in a play.

But most of all, I will love him just as much today as I will tomorrow, as I will the next day as the next day, and no red heart on a calendar is going to change that.

Take that Hallmark.

Katie Landeck can be reached at [email protected]