Taiwanese people celebrate not one, not two, but three Valentine's days--the Taiwanese one in August, the American one in February and the Japanese one on March 14, which is really like Valentine's Day part II.
Having surpassed the two-year mark in singledom, the holiday no longer registers in my brain. When I remember to think about it, it's mostly with indifference--I like couples and have nothing against love or the expression of love. At the same time, it amuses me that greeting card companies have convinced people spend lots of time, energy and money on a holiday that commemorates the death of a martyr who was stoned, clubbed, then beheaded. All in the name of love! But I digress...
As it turns out, I should probably be more sensitive or aware of holidays that might mean something to someone, especially when a whole island of those someones have so much love to give that its expression overflows into three, non-consecutive days each year. I absentmindedly scheduled three interviews with local Brown applicants at the Starbucks around the corner from my apartment today. When I arrived, there was a line stretching out the door. Must be the Saturday afternoon crowd, I thought. After reaching the front of the line and ordering a drink, the barista asked if I wanted two. "Two?" I asked. "Why would I need two hot chocolates?"
"It's buy one, get one free!" she exclaimed. I briefly considered--after all, why get one when you can get two? Then I looked around. The closet-sized lobby was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with caffeine-deprived-but-giddy couples. I was the only one alone.
"Oh, it's Valentine's Day! I just need one, thanks," I replied. Her smile softened into a countenance of deep, profound pity. I almost changed my drink order just so her face would re-inflate to its former perkiness.
But, beLOVED reader, spreading misery makes no one happy, so I'll end this post with the wise words and clever crafts of Ms. Alexandra Kleeman: