Tales of Valentine’s Day: the Lovebirds, the Heartbroken, and the Aromantic
Reading Time: 3 minutes
On February 14, the heart of Stuyvesant High School fluttered with excitement. The halls were dressed in pink and candy hearts were tossed in the air like confetti. Students giggled about crushes, sophomore boys attempted to serenade the ladies with their guitars, and rumors flew about renewed activity in the Hudson staircase.
Students were definitely not just going about their business as usual, as anyone could see from anonymous junior A’s lively and flowery account of the day. “I studied during Valentine’s Day,” they proclaimed. “Instead of chocolates, they should give us homework passes. Or no homework at all.”
Indeed, for most Stuyvesant students, Valentine’s Day was just another day. “Valentine’s day was more tame than I expected,” sophomore Eshaal Ubaid said, mentioning that she took the time to go out with friends and get bubble tea.
Other students were more enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day. “I had lots of fun. I spent a lot of time with my friends,” anonymous junior B said, and described buying cupcakes for their friends. “I kinda shoved the cupcakes in their locker, so they trashed my locker with chocolate, but it was fun.”
For some, however, February 14 was a day of heartbreak. “I went out to dinner with my then-recent boyfriend, we had a fun time, then he broke up with me,” anonymous student D said.
Heartbreak also went to a level beyond romance. “Valentine’s day was a [EXPLETIVE]-show,” anonymous student C said. They reported buying a box of chocolates with a note reading “let’s get along” for someone who admitted to hating them.
“I can’t accept this. The note, let’s not. I don’t want to get along with you,” the recipient reportedly said.
“I took the chocolate back and threw it out. I guess it was a waste of food but I really just wasn’t thinking straight at the time,” student C said. “So not only did I get romantically rejected, I also couldn’t be friends with her. I didn’t really sleep well that night or the next few nights.”
Other hearts were spared this Valentine’s Day. “I’m aroace. [...] I used to think that crushes were just this big running joke, some kind of universal prank adults play on children,” student A said. “A good friend had to explain to me that love isn’t usually an unhealthy obsession like they always show in movies. And that people don’t usually feel attraction when their life is in danger. Don’t ask why he had to clarify that. Sometimes I wish I could feel romantic love, but it honestly sounds too tedious to be worth it.”
On the opposite side of the spectrum, for senior Katherine Lake, who recently found love after coming out as bisexual, one of the best parts of Valentine’s Day was her newfound confidence. “It was just being able to know that this Valentine’s Day I am more myself, and I had someone incredible to spend time with who has also gone through her own journey,” she said. “To be comfortable in my own skin in that sense has just been incredible in so many ways.”
Many believe Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be limited to romance. “I am the best single person to have ever lived. If Valentine’s Day is about loving or doing something nice for your favorite person, I succeeded in that I did something nice for myself,” Ubaid said. “It may sound sad to some, but I think it’s awesome to get to know myself before getting to know anyone else.”
Understandably, others have a more cynical view. “You don’t need a holiday to give people flowers and chocolates. It’s a consumer hoax for companies to make more money,” student A said. “Like diamond rings. Did you know that the tradition of proposing with diamond rings are just a result of a brilliant marketing scheme?”
Capitalist ploy or not, the more enthusiastic portion of the student body was busy participating in the Indicator flower sale, which had some trouble this year. “I heard the roses sold out early. I saw a bouquet someone had and all of the flowers looked dead. Very fitting of Stuy,” A said. According to the Indicator, the seller from which they ordered their flowers failed to deliver a large fraction of the flowers. To replace the missing flowers, members of the Indicator spent hundreds of dollars of their own money on candy.
While the Indicator wasn’t able to provide refunds for students who received chocolate instead of flowers, many didn’t mind the switch up. “A lot of people were just incredibly thankful for the fact that these people would pay hundreds of dollars to carry this message on,” said Lake. “That, to me, is kind of the spirit of what this day means [...] it doesn’t have to be an $18 bouquet. Just getting a note is enough.”
Ultimately, Valentine’s day meant something different for everyone. “Valentine’s Day, I think especially now, is being seen as more than just a couples thing. It’s really just a space for people to connect with one another and show their appreciation,” Lake said.