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Brea’s Rp 2 on Valen­tine’s Day

It was eight years ago that I had my rst ex­pe­ri­ence with Valen­tine’s Day. I was in sev­enth grade, beam­ing with teenage naiveté and cu­rios­ity. I will al­ways re­mem­ber how this guy that I had had a crush on walked past me in the hall­way, stop­ping brie y to lit­er­ally drop a big peace of Toblerone choco­late in my arms, then run­ning away with his friends, laugh­ing.

Look­ing back, it was quite clear that the guy wasn’t boyfriend ma­te­rial. But at that mo­ment, I was be­yond happy. We’d spo­ken only twice in real life–that is if you count IM chat as real con­ver­sa­tion. Any­way, his friend had told my friend that he liked me, to which my friend replied that the feel­ing was mu­tual. Need­less to say, that Valen­tine’s Day, I was on Cloud Nine.

De­spite our choco­late en­counter, my crush and I never re­ally man­aged to de­velop a re­la­tion­ship. Oh well, we never even went be­yond mak­ing ba­sic con­ver­sa­tion. And so our “re­la­tion­ship” ended well be­fore it ever be­gan.

You see,Valen­tine’s Day is sup­posed to cel­e­brate all the mean­ing­ful, lov­ing re­la­tion­ships in your life, with peo­ple who care for you enough to treat you prop­erly. My rst V-Day might have been okay for starry-eyed sev­en­th­grader Brea, but as we ma­ture, cel­e­brat­ing love should de nitely be more than a phys­i­cal ex­pres­sion.

Th­ese days I wel­come Valen­tine’s Day as a day of cel­e­bra­tion of love and friend­ship. It’s a day to cher­ish the most mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ships in my life, be they with my par­ents, sib­lings, best friends, and even teach­ers. My dogs count too. So Valen­tine’s Day makes a great ex­cuse for fancy din­ners when you’re dat­ing some­one, but the real mean­ing of the cel­e­bra­tion shouldn’t stop there. If you’re like me, there’s just too much love in­side my heart. I can’t help but spread. it This Valen­tine’s Day, let’s show the peo­ple (and pets!) we love how much we care about them. With that, I wish you all a Happy Valen­tine’s Day! + Brea Salim

at Barnard The writer is a stu­dent

and Col­lege, Columbia Univer­sity, au­thor of Bright Eyes.

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