By Ashley Baxstrom

“Heart to Heart 2” by Angela Zito


#Valentine’sDay was cocoa in a red mug, powdered sugar & strawberries on my pancakes, a note in my lunchbox from mom. Now it’s all #DIY.

Sometimes my dad gets my mom #flowers. Buying her #chocolates was always us kids’ job, #RussellStover is her favorite. #Valentine’sDay

Sometimes my dad buys my mom #jewelry for #Valentine’sDay, small & simple. A gold #heart, colored pearls. My dad has good taste in jewelry.

#Valentine’sDay was best when we were kids. Cover a shoebox in lace & papier-mâché, get notes & #candy from everyone. Lollipops. Lil hearts.

Now that we’re adults we don’t get a Disney princess card from our 34 best friends. #Valentine’sDay is supposed to mean something different.

At 27, I’ve never had a #Valentine. Rom-com marathons show me how it’s supposed to be, highs & lows & #love in the end. So what’s it to me?

#Valentine’sDay = red wine & pasta. No fancy steak because I can’t really cook red meat. Handful of bite-size chocolates. Me, roomies, cats.

Being in grad school, I’ve read about the commodification of #Valentine’sDay. I mean, everybody “knows.” But I’ve REALLY read about it.

#Valentine’sDay = lots of Ryan Gosling or Joseph Gordon-Levitt or some such. OR lots of #vampire movies. Not the #Twilight kind. Bloody.

Actually, for me, this year, #Valentine’sDay = work, then studying, then French & Arabic lessons. Then cuddling with my cat. She’s a purrer.

#Valentine’sDay is like any other day, but knowing for some it’s special, but joking to friends it’s not, but hoping some day it will be.


Ashley Baxstrom is a graduate student in the Religious Studies Program at New York University and an editorial assistant for The Revealer.

Angela Zito is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Religious Studies Program and Co-director of The Center for Religion and Media.  She is The Revealer‘s publisher.