As Valentine’s Day begins to round the bend and enter our peripheral vision, love and all things related are definitely on the brain. Every encounter with coworkers, classmates, or friends that was once innocuous now takes on new meaning; Favors, compliments, extra attention could all be indications of feelings lurking just below the surface, rising like a hot-air balloon with thoughts of the approaching holiday helping to push them upwards. While this thought is perfectly plausible, I tend to discount this particular advent as an ingenuine, commercialized celebration of what should be appreciated every day of the year, instead of just when the calendar dictates. Compassion is not something to be taken for granted, and not just something to be proven through token cards and candies like some macho pissing contest. See, I really love you, honey – I bought you crap you don’t need and I didn’t want to pay for in the first place! How sweet.
Regardless, my opinions can’t change the effect that the suggested day of romance has on some of the other people around me. Tending to be all but oblivious to the underlying implications of the approaches of others, I couldn’t help but be slightly uncomfortable by the blatant stares directed my way all through study hall one school day from a certain someone. What does he want? Is there something on my face? Spinach between my teeth? What, for god’s sake?!
Nothing more than an irritating observer, I turned my back and concentrated all of my will to not let his graze get under my skin. Feeling his eyes continue to bore a hold through my skull, it was no shocker when after 45 minutes I gathered my books to leave, and saw him inanimate with the same goofy expression on his face. Already on the edge, my impatience for these shenanigans was at its limit. At this point, it was the most I could do to avoid giving him a glare cold enough to rival the temperature outside in return.
Ready to breeze out the door and make my escape, it was then that I understood the meaning behind this stranger’s funny looks. Really, it was practically written across his face – There may as well have been hearts in his eyes for all the affection they harbored.
Flattered but still uneasy, I slipped out of the classroom fast as lightning upon hearing the bell’s merciful siren. Glancing around behind myself tentatively, I quickly comprehended that this poor soul simply suffered from falling for too many Valentine’s Day gimmicks. A clearly painful affliction indeed, as every female passing by was subjected to the same love-struck grin that he seemed to be displaying indiscriminately. Not a one was spared from his overzealous, hormone-driven feelings so characteristic of adolescent males around that age.
Placated by the knowledge that this would be yet another year without any admirers for me to worry about, I sighed deeply with relief… And dashed off quickly to the nearest mirror to make sure that there really wasn’t anything between my teeth after all.