Because I’m reliably late to the game, this post has to do with Valentine’s Day, but—before you punch your computer/laptop/phone screen in—it’s not one of those “I’m forever alone and I wish all couples would disintegrate into glittery pink ashes because why else would they express love but to make me feel bad” posts. Because God knows you could do without another person crying about the single life. And a broken screen. You could probably do without that, too.
Around Valentine’s Day, our student council sets up the Heart Board in the cafeteria. The Heart Board is plastered with two thousand cutout red hearts (each one with the handwritten, full name of every student in the school. Alphabetically arranged). It’s that red/black blob in the distance in the picture below.
The premise: you grab your significant other’s heart, affix it to your shirt, and parade it around all day.
While the idea of “taking someone’s heart” was cute and all, people soon realized the converse was true as well. If your heart was gone, that meant you were taken; if your heart was still there, that meant you were single. Consequently, some people go to ridiculous lengths to arrange the removal of their hearts, lest their pathetic, life-threatening lack of a relationship be broadcast to all.
Forgive me if I don’t see any point in this whatsoever. Anyone who cares enough will probably know whether or not you’re single. And who thought this would be a good idea in the first place? Teenagers are known to be obsessed with image, as people like to constantly remind us, and this is practically a breeding ground for insecurities.
Anyway, some go up and take down their own hearts. Others get their friends to take them down so they won’t be seen in the act. One kid even offered to get mine for a nominal fee of fifty cents.
You drive a heart bargain, I told him. He immediately rescinded the offer, and is still not speaking to me.
The thing is, I normally wouldn’t give this Heart Board thing a second thought. To each his own, you know? It’s just that throughout the day, that was all anyone would talk about. And people actually got concerned when I told them I wasn’t particularly inclined to participate.
A Concerned Inquiry
LTFMTA¹: Has anyone gotten your heart yet?
Me: I don’t know.
LTFMTA: You haven’t checked?
Me: No. I’m probably not going to, either.
LTMFTA: *gasps* Go get it! You’ve still got time.
Me: You mean grab my own heart? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
LTFMTA: If you don’t, you’ll seem like a single loser!
Me: But I am a single loser.
¹: Less Than Friend, More Than Acquaintance (see “small talk” post)