Hearts Taste Like Antacid Pills


Heart of shells found at Clearwater Beach in FL. Framed by sunset.

Valentine’s Day is a big deal around here. Well, to be honest, it is a big deal everywhere. The average American spends $100 on Valentine’s Day. That lucky Benjamin will cover a dinner out, a few flowers, and maybe some chocolates. According to MSNBC, America is expected to spend $13.7 billion. For those of you who face statistic ennui, that’s 13,700,000,000 dollars.

But Valentine’s Day doesn’t stop with America’s straining economy. Even in this little town of St. Andrews on the coast of Scotland, the windows are bursting with red hearts, pink chocolates, and even the odd sexy nurse outfit here and there. All the little restaurants tempt the college couple with display boards touting deals like, “Two courses for two for only £15!”, which is a deal until you do the conversion from pounds to dollars.

I personally have no reason to hate Valentine’s Day, but I just do. Perhaps this hatred was fostered in third grade, when Cameron M. got more Valentine candy than me. The day just never fulfilled the high expectations that the Hallmark cards and heart-shaped Tums encouraged.

That’s why this year, my fellow study-abroad roommate is forcing me to “share the love”. I was surprised that she did not share my distaste for the commercialized holiday based upon the death of a couple martyrs. She has all the signs of a Valentines-hater:  works with abused women, economic/women studies major, hippie tree-hugger, anti-materialist…

But she still loves Valentine’s Day. To quote her, if I may, V-Day is “a time to show love to those around you”. So, because I am not anti-Love, she has cornered me into celebrating this dismal holiday.

So far in observance of this holiday, we have drunk Champagne before lunch and ate a bunch of Nutella hearts. My boyfriend even bought me/Anna roses, even though he knows that I consider roses to be the most useless of all flowers. This new acceptance of the holiday doesn’t make me sold on the whole idea, but I cannot ignore the sage advice of my roomie. Love isn’t bad. Sure, it isn’t always pleasant, and can oftentimes lead to wars (Troy, the Capulets and Montugues, The Princess Bride…) and unwanted pregnancies (Jame Lynn Spears, Mother Mary, Bristol Palin).

But Jesus, Saint Anselm, and Celine Dion can’t be too wrong. This celebration of love may have turned into a monster commercialization of cards and chocolate, but you can’t help but admit that this love thing is better than gang wars, rapes, and starvation. So maybe, for one day, we can put aside the overwhelming pains and evils of the world and focus on the few good things in our lives.

Solid friends. Tasty food. Good conversation. The beauty of nature. That’s what we can celebrate on this silly Day of Love.

Like Sam Wise the hobbit said to Frodo in those ruins of Gondor, “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Or in this case, it’s worth buying roses and eating chocolates for.

2 Comments to “Hearts Taste Like Antacid Pills”

  1. I like this approach to the holiday. Instead of being depressed and dismal about your lack of a beau, or angry at your own for not living up to your “Valentine’s Day Expectations” enjoy the company of those around you and be thankful. It’s almost like thanksgiving but with out the delicious food and football.

  2. Thanksgiving is definitely higher up in my book of holidays (and for that matter, so is the Canadian Boxing Day), but my new roomie has a point: it can be about love. like real love. not cards or dinners. Just happiness. I’ll take that.

    Also, thanks for commenting. It’s nice to see a familiar blogging face around these parts.

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