Valentine's Day at Bellaire High School
An unacknowledged danger looms in high schools during the week of Feb. 14. For weeks in advance of Valentine’s Day, clubs begin selling a variety of Valentine-themed gifts for students to buy to send to one another. Valentine’s Day is a lucrative holiday for clubs and organizations as varied as Russian Club, UNICEF Club, and BISA (Bellaire International Student Association).
Among the options available at Bellaire High School, roses are extremely popular, as students often relish receiving one if not more roses from friends, delivered to their class with a message attached. Options like succulents, balloon animals, and “Val-o-grams” also have their fair share of success, with new, easily-deliverable presents appearing every year.
Some students, however, prefer a more public display of affection, and this gift choice is the more dangerous one. The Singing Valentine, sold by the Boys and Girls Choir, offers students an opportunity to send their boyfriend or girlfriend a musical-themed declaration of love. Students can choose from songs like “My Girl” sung by the Boys’ Choir and “You’re the One that I Want” sung by the Girls’ Choir, among numerous other love-themed classics. Now, why is this dangerous? Well, for students not expecting a Singing Valentine from their significant other, the possibility of an embarrassing joke looms large. Even worse is the possibility that classmates decide to utilize these musical messages as a means of publicly pranking a friend.
“My friend bought it for me. I told him not to buy, and he still bought it anyway,” says Garett Haynes, a sophomore at Bellaire High School. Last year, Garett experienced first-hand the danger that accompanies this Valentine’s Day tradition, when a singing valentine was sent in his name to a random girl in one of his classes. “It was definitely pretty embarrassing,” he adds. “Everyone was just staring at me or her. There were forty-two people in that class.” Luckily, Garett has recovered from the trauma, but he still makes the point that those selling the Singing Valentines should try to prevent this type of prank and verify the sender’s identity. However, students around him strongly disagree. After all, who doesn’t enjoy the occasional feeling of schadenfreude set to the sounds of lively acapella?
What started off as a replacement for a Roman fertility celebration has now become a heavily commercialized day of love. Valentine’s Day has undergone a truly wild transformation. If Saint Valentine could walk the halls of Bellaire High School this Friday, he would likely be surprised by how teenagers have decided to commemorate his martyrdom. He might not know the music, but maybe he’d dance along.
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