The upside to February 14th

The most commercialized day of the year (right behind Halloween, Easter, Christmas and the Fourth of July), for years Valentine’s Day has drawn the ire and disgust of people everywhere. You literally have people sobbing in dread in the weeks leading up to it, and people determined to ignore it once the day finally arrives. Nearly everyone, at some point in their lives, has hated Valentine’s Day.

But I don’t.

I won’t lie, I did at one point. What child hasn’t suffered the intense trauma brought about by handing out Valentines to classmates? It was an exercise in extreme tactics, assigning Valentines so I didn’t accidentally give one proclaiming “I love you!” or, even worse, “Be Mine!” to the cootie-infested boys of my class. No, they had the “You’re cool!” or, even better, the pithy “Happy Valentine’s Day!” cards reserved for them.

What then, you may wonder, has changed my mind? Is it perhaps because of the various incarnations of the original saint named Valentine, a ridiculously badass man who supposedly died in martyrdom on this day? Death by tigers or fire (depending on which version of the myth you’re going with) is the way to make a statement. But no, it’s not that. It’s also not because of the hypothesis that the heart shape we commonly see today was based on butts, and I derive immense entertainment from the idea that people everywhere are dotting their “i”s and writing love letters covered in tiny butts.

But (hehe, butts…) no. I do not equate Valentine’s Day with hell’s stinking, sweaty armpit for one and only one reason: chocolate.

Chocolate. The greatest gift ever to come out of the Americas. It’s delicious, it keeps away dementors, and on Valentine’s Day, it’s everywhere! Stores are stocked full, it’s considered acceptable to eat it at every meal and people even hand it out for free!

If you don’t have a date, even better! That’s only an excuse to buy more chocolate! And unlike Christmas, there’s no expectation you have to give any in return. It’s all yours for the keeping.

Once the day is over, the heart/butt decorations fade, cupid hangs up his arrows and the chocolate goes on sale. It’s like a less violent, much more delicious Boxing Day. Yup, Valentine’s is the day that just keeps on giving.

So this February 14, don’t cry in your room alone. Cry in your room with chocolate. And by cry, I mean smile. Because chocolate.

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