To Granny regarding Saint Valentine’s Day

Granny!

How little love there will be today! How much chocolate would certainly get eaten!

(Regardless of the heart shape, it still contains the same calories it normally does during the other days.)

How much latex filled with air on a stick would drift along the streets!

How many educational articles would inform us about the martyr Saint Valentine and the origin of the holiday!

How much hatred would flow from rebels, single people and demagogues would preach that Love should be celebrated daily, not solely on the 14th February!

How many angry statuses on Twitter would mention hypocrisy and marketing; pure love turned into dirty business!

How many girls would encourage their boyfriends when getting just another heart-shaped balloon “Oh, how sweet of you!”. Then being just on the verge of disappointment “What was he thinking with this balloon?!?”, they would get some chocolates and maybe even some heart-shaped earrings!

What an emotion St. Valentine’s was at school! The first condition was for the headmistress to approve the existence of a Valentine’s box where all the students can drop their love letters. It used to stay close to the main entrance. One week before the holiday. Enough time for the boys to come up with something, and also for the braver girls to express themselves.

The second condition was the lack of money. If the boys wanted to buy us a gift, they should have sacrificed their pocket money. The result? Either a poor gift, or hunger. A really bad idea! The Valentine’s box was an obvious necessity! Free love has always been the end-of-the-rainbow!

The third condition: the anticipation! You never knew whether you would get any letters, how many you would get, who would the sender(s) be… Would there be an evil rat who would have written a fake card just to embarrass you? Would there be confessions? How would they be phrased? Would the person responsible for the box confuse the classes? Would somebody else get your letters?

I used to adore this day when I was little! Regardless of whether I was disappointed or happy: I had the single hope that Somebody would be truly brave and would tell me “I love you!” Via a card, on a piece of paper, on a napkin…
When I grew up, I started to understand that this day is actually a Catholic holiday (not Orthodox), that it is merely a legend not underpinned by any facts, that it sucks to celebrate it like everyone else does… etc.

A few years back, my strong desire to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day cropped up again! The same emotion that I used to have running along the school corridors! Back then, I was dating a romantic guy who managed to make most of my days special. Nevertheless, I still wanted to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day just like at school. Something like a second chance for Santa Claus to turn out real! However, my boyfriend did not succumb: he was a firm believer that this holiday sucks and started explaining to me things I already knew. At the end love seemingly won!

So here I am, at home! Candles. Beautiful table laid. 2 glasses, wine, excellent aroma, a card, kind words. I sit down. I get some kisses and compliments. Then the pan approaches. Oh, nooooooooooo!

Tens of shrimps’ eyes are looking at me! I hardly stop my tears: my favourite dish is staring at me! I do not want them to stare at me: I just want to eat blind shrimps and love. They keep looking at me and what is worst – he keeps looking at me too! Everyone expects something from me!

I thank him for the gesture, but explain my concern about the shrimps with eyes on them. I cry. I eat one just out of respect. And although I leave the eyes in my plate, I am sure the one I ate somehow can still inspect me from the inside…

“You were right. It was a silly idea to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day!”

——-

Now I am ready for any type of St. Valentine’s Day.

There is only one important factor: I have people who I love. And this is great.

Love,

A.

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